10-year-old girl opens alligator's mouth in Florida park to free her leg

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, May 8, 2017

ORLANDO, Florida (WABC) -- An alligator bit a 10-year-old girl on the leg as she sat in shallow lake waters at a Florida park, authorities said.

The girl was with her family at Moss Park in Orange County when she was bitten Saturday, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Chad Weber.

Weber said she was sitting in water roughly 2 feet deep when the 8-foot-9-inch gator bit her on her knee and calf.

Authorities said the girl was able to pry the alligator's mouth open and remove her leg.

She sustained a laceration to the front of the knee along with several puncture wounds, but the injuries were not thought to be life-threatening, Weber said.

Her family took her to a hospital for treatment. Authorities trapped the alligator.

Orange County Parks and Recreation manager Matt Suedmeyer said the park's waterfront areas were closed to swimmers for safety until further notice.

Moss Park is flanked by two large lakes, Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane where gators sometimes appear, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

There were four other members of her party, standing approximately 30 feet from the shore when she was bitten, officials said.

The Sentinel reported that a triathlete swimming in another lake flanking the park survived several bites from an alligator in 2010.

There have been 388 alligator bites on people in Florida since 1948, including 24 fatalities, according to the wildlife commission.

A 2-year-old Nebraska boy was killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World last June when the 7-foot animal dragged the child from the edge of a lagoon. Six non-fatal alligator bites also were reported statewide last year.

(The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.)

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