Alligator Attacks 58-Year-Old Man in Florida: Sheriff

June 22, 2016 Updated: June 22, 2016

An alligator attacked a 58-year-old man in Bushnell, Fla., biting him on the leg, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

The alligator, which was about 9 feet in length, bit the man, injuring his right leg on Tuesday evening around 6:30 p.m.

The man was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center, the Sheriff’s office said.

The man’s condition has not yet been released.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials euthanized the alligator, which is standard procedure after alligator attacks.

Sumter County deputies and officers from the Florida Wildlife Commission told Fox13 that the man noticed that his horses on the property were getting restless and went in to investigate.

CR 311 in Bushnell, Florida (Google Maps)
CR 311 in Bushnell, Florida (Google Maps)

The FWC, in an update in April, said there were nine alligator attacks in Florida last year, with one fatality. In 2014, there were 10 gator attacks, with none being fatal.

The attack in Sumter County comes just a week after a 2-year-old boy was dragged into a lagoon by an alligator at a Disney resort in Orlando. The boy eventually drowned, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. Disney put up alligator warning signs in the wake of the attack—previously, only “No Swimming” signs has been present.

American alligators are mostly found in the southern U.S., and Florida has the most: approximately 1.5 million gators live in the state.

(Sumter County Sheriff's Office-Florida)
(Sumter County Sheriff’s Office-Florida)

The natural behavior of alligators is to fear humans, and alligator attacks are likely the result of the animals being fed.

“What happens is people feed them,” Kenneth L. Krysko, manager of herpetology collections at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said last week. “If humans start feeding [them], the natural fear of humans are gone and an accident can happen.”

Krysko said it’s illegal to feed alligators in Florida.