11-foot gator bites man in leg as he walks his dogs near pond, Florida officials say

A man walking his dogs in southwest Florida was attacked by an 11-foot alligator, officials say.

The attack happened in a Naples golfing community the evening of April 19, according to a report from the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The 67-year-old man was bitten in the leg and taken to a hospital, and a nuisance alligator trapper was sent to the location, the FWC said.

In an interview with WINK, the gator bite victim said a neighbor, Walter Rudder, saved him from the attack.

“I was driving back to our house when I saw someone laying on the ground, waving his arm,” Rudder said.

It took him a moment to realize what was going on, then he reacted. “We backed the car out, and I drove over the alligator,” Rudder told WINK. “It got loose, let go of the leg and ran off towards the pond.”

The FWC called the resident who intervened a “good Samaritan.”

A tourniquet was applied to the victim’s leg, and he was airlifted to a hospital with bite wounds to his right calf and thigh, according to the FWC.

Alligators can be found in all 67 counties in Florida, according to the FWC. Wildlife specialists urge the public not to feed gators, which will learn to associate humans with food.

Keep a safe distance from gators, swim in designated areas during daytime hours and keep pets on leashes, the FWC advises.

Alligator mating season typically takes place in May and June, but “courtship” can begin in early April, according to the FWC.

Naples is in Collier County, about a 210-mile drive southeast from Tampa.

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