BUSHNELL – At around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 58-year-old man was attacked by an alligator according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
The man, who has not yet been identified, suffered injuries to his right leg and was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center. He noticed his horses were restless and went to check on them. That’s when he was bitten by what Deputies describe as an 8-9 foot alligator.
This alligator attack makes the second one in Florida in the last week. The last attack happened at the Grand Floridian Resort where a 2-year-old vacationing child drowned as a result of an alligator attack.
To get more information on alligators, we spoke with a local gator expert, “Gator” Johnny Matos. “Gators are nocturnal small game hunters who spend a lot of time in shallow waters. Since there are about 2 million of them in Florida and only about 15 thousand bodies of water to support them all, they are literally in every lake, pond, river, creek, or stream,” he explained to us, “[The attack at] Disney was a horrible, tragic incident, but falls perfectly within the parameters of an alligator attack. All the conditions were perfect for that to happen.”
According to Matos, attacks like this one in Bushnell are very odd. “Height intimidates them, which is why they are not considered man-eaters and are small game hunters. They won’t go after a cow, they’ll go after the calf. They won’t go after a horse, they’ll go after the colt, etc,” Matos added. “He could have walked up on the gator startling it, causing it to bite.”
When we asked him if there was any information he could add to help the public, he replied, “Be aware that they are out there, and while incredibly shy, are still extremely dangerous…And do not feed them. Alligators lose their natural fear of people once fed. They start associating people with food, and that’s when you have a problem.”
Check back on this page for more updates on this alligator attack.
Update 12:08 a.m.
According to a Facebook post, the alligator was euthanized by a Florida Wildlife Commission gator trapper. The gator weighed 300 pounds and was 8 feet 6 inches long.
More updates on this here