Panic at Dell Webb: Retirement community lives in fear after 8-foot alligator attacks woman, 77

Panic at Dell Webb: Retirement community lives in fear after 8-foot alligator attacks woman, 77
Alligator attacks a woman in a gated community in Florida (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

LAKEWOOD RANCH, FLORIDA: An almost 8 feet alligator was euthanized after it attacked a 77-year-old woman from a Florida retirement community on Saturday, September 3. The 7-foot, 10-inch alligator was later captured by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and euthanized.

FWC dispatched a nuisance alligator trapper after receiving a report at 6 pm on September 3 about a woman who was bitten by an alligator near a pond in Dell Webb community in Lakwewood Ranch, the commission said in a statement to CBS News. The woman, who was not identified, was rushed to a hospital after the attack and is being treated for her injuries. 

Neighbor Gordon Silver said he's never seen anything like this before, Fox 35 reported. "I lived here five years and I've never seen a gator come after anybody like that," the wildlife photographer said. "Usually they run the other way, even when you see him on the path around here crossing over from pond to pond. They see a human and they take off."


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Woman rushed to the hospital after being attacked by an alligator in Florida
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

First responders were able to capture the alligator after eyewitnesses kept a close eye on it. Neighbours and eyewitnesses claim to have seen the alligator on the sidewalk after the incident and later returning to the pond. Manatee County Sheriff's Office and Manatee County EMS also reported to the scene. The reptile was euthanized by a licensed nuisance alligator trapper. FWC says on its website that an alligator is considered a nuisance if it's atleast 4ft in length and poses a threat to people, pets or property. The woman who was taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries is still under medical evaluation, the agency said. 

Florida is home to 1.3 million alligators that can be spotted commonly near ponds. It is not common for alligator to attack humans. They usually take off at the sight of humans; but alligators which are fed by humans are more likely to attack as they become more bold and used to humans. In Florida alligator attacks are rare; last year 21 bite incidents were reported and 9 involved alligators and were unprovoked. At least 20 alligator bite incidents have been reported this year till date. The chances of being injured in an unprovoked alligator attack is roughly one in 3 million. Chief Craig Madsen said, "The alligator involved in this incident appeared to have been fed after it came running to eat the marshmallows thrown by the trapper and that's not something we recommend because it could turn into circumstances like this." 

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