BRADENTON, Fla — Gordon Silver said Saturday evening was similar immoderate different for his neighbor, 77-year-old Kathleen Marder. That is until she rounded a country adjacent a pond successful the Del Webb Lakewood Ranch Retirement Community.
"She walks this sidewalk each the clip each day," helium said. "I conjecture helium was successful the bushes, and she didn't spot him from what I understand, and she indispensable person walked close by the gator wrong a ft oregon truthful of that gator."
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), a nearly eight-foot gator spot Marder. FWC crews aboriginal caught and euthanized it.
Marder, connected the different hand, is presently being treated for her injuries and Silver told ABC Action News that it's each acknowledgment to the speedy reasoning of different neighbor.
"He instantly started shouting and screaming and the gator turned astir and went close into the water. So you know, helium saved her beingness truly due to the fact that who knows what would person happened aft that," helium said.
Silver said the incidental is shocking for galore reasons — but particularly due to the fact that of however adjacent it happened to his ain location and due to the fact that helium often photographs gators successful the area. And successful his experience, helium knows them to beryllium a spot much skittish.
"I've ne'er had 1 travel adjacent me; they usually tally the different way," helium said.
That said, Silver besides adds that helium hopes the incidental doesn't marque the assemblage fearfulness these animals and alternatively raises everyone's consciousness astir them.
"Be much alert and besides don't provender them. And if they're nesting, you privation to enactment distant due to the fact that they volition — immoderate parent is going to support their babies — truthful if you get adjacent a nest, you could beryllium attacked," helium said.
According to the FWC, determination person been 22 reported gator-bite incidents this year. That's up from 21 reports past year. Overall, they added that these incidents — particularly an unprovoked wound — are rather rare.
If you person a interest astir an alligator successful your area, the FWC has a toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline—866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).