Alligator attacks 77-year-old Bradenton woman, FWC says
BRADENTON, Fla. - A Bradenton woman was hospitalized Saturday night after she was attacked by a nearly 8-foot alligator, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
"I was sort of shocked. I’ve lived here 5 years, and I’ve never seen a gator come after anybody like that," said Gordon Silver.
As a wildlife photographer and videographer, Gordon Silver has an eye for capturing the perfect shot.
On Saturday night, he documented a gator captured after attacking a neighbor.
FWC traps a nearly 8-foot alligator they say attacked a 77-year-old Bradenton woman. Courtesy: Gordon Silver.
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"Usually they run the other way even when you see them on a path over here, crossing over here from pond to pond they see a human and they take off," said Silver.
FWC says it was called out to a gated community located at 16832 Ellsworth Avenue in Bradenton around 6 p.m. to investigate a report that a 77-year-old woman had been bitten by an alligator near a pond.
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office and EMS also responded to the scene.
"Every pond you come across, it could be a little small puddle and there might be a gator in there. You just have to be aware," said Silver.
Battalion Chief Craig Madsen with East Manatee Fire District responded to the call. He said neighbors initially heard the woman screaming and one ran to help.
A witness to the gator attack kept an eye on the animal, which was captured by FWC. Courtesy: Gordon Silver.
"He said the alligator was still on the sidewalk with the victim at that time that he got there. He said as he started yelling at it and the gator released the victim and proceeded back in the water," said Battalion Chief Madsen.
The gator didn’t leave its spot once back in the water.
"The gator was probably a foot or two off the bank in the water, but his eyes were locked on us. Luckily, MSO was there to keep us safe and he had his weapon drawn just in case he attacked again," he said.
The woman was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries. However, her condition and the extent of her injuries have not been released at this time.
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According to FWC, a person who witnessed the incident kept an eye on the 7'10" alligator, which was captured by an FWC nuisance alligator trapper.
There were no other alligators in the area fitting the size and description of the responsible alligator, according to FWC.
"It was pretty apparent once the trapper arrived at scene, he had a bag of marshmallows and he threw a couple of marshmallows out into the pond and as soon as that marshmallow hit the water the gator came straight to the marshmallow to eat it. It seemed apparent that this gator had been fed and obviously that’s not something we recommend because it could turn into circumstances like this," said Battalion Chief Madsen.
Officials say they are confident the responsible alligator was removed.