ORLANDO (EON) – A 10-year-old girl who was quick on her feet is still alive following an attack from an alligator.
The girl who was attacked by an alligator while she sat in shallow water pried open the sharp-toothed reptile’s mouth to set herself free.
According to FOX News, the girl was in a designated swimming area of an Orlando-area park at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Suddenly, an 8-foot-9-inch alligator lunged at her leg, according to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Instead of panicking, she grabbed the gator and pried open its mouth to set her leg free.
Her family and a lifeguard were nearby, and came to help when they heard her scream for help, WKMG-TV reports.
The girl was taken to the Nemours Children’s Hospital but later released. She is said to be suffering from minor injuries.
“She had puncture wounds but I don’t think they’re life threatening,” spokesperson for FWC Chad Weber told the Orlando Sentinal.
According to state records on fatalities and injuries caused by alligator attacks, there have been multiple years-long stretches in Florida where there were no fatal attacks.
The statistics, which go back to 1948, show that the deadliest years for fatalities caused by alligator attacks were 2001 and 2006. Three people were killed each of those years.
That doesn’t mean there haven’t been small bites and major injuries caused by alligators. In 1977, there were 13 major attacks in Florida and one fatality.
“Alligators are apex predators and they are wild animals,” Flynt said, noting that people should never feed them.
“The only time we have a situation of serious concern is when someone has been feeding an alligator,” Flynt said. “They begin to lose their fear of humans and associate them with a source of food.”