2017 could break alligator attack record in FL

- Alligator attacks in Florida are almost at an all-time high. So far this year, there have been 16, and the year is only a little more than half over.

Compare that to 2001 - a record-breaking 16 people were attacked by gators, but that was for the entire year.

"We think the warmer temperatures are causing them to look for a cool environment," Sgt. Gary Gross told FOX 13. "And that's why we're seeing more on the prowl."

When more gators go gallivanting, it's more likely that they will have encounters with humans.

The latest encounter thankfully did not end in an attack.

A woman on Sleepy Hill Road in North Lakeland saw a gator slither out of the woods and dash across the street. Traffic stopped, and cell phones came out to record the reptilian event.

"He was hissing real loud and his mouth was open real big," Sherese Walker told FOX 13 News. "If there was someone there, I'm pretty sure he would have attacked somebody."

It's not out of the question if someone got too close.

Recently in Englewood, a man diving for golf balls was attacked and needed 400 stitches.

"He could have ripped my arm off. Or he could have gotten my head," said Scott Lahodik.

Just last week, Circle B Bar Reserve closed it's Alligator Alley trail because its nesting season and mother gators are aggressively protecting their young.

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