Alligator bites weed-whacking Florida man

A Tavares man was using his weed whacker along the edge of a dock when an alligator jumped out of the water and bit him on his arm. This happened just before 5 p.m. at a residence on Lynn Circle in the Imperial Terrace subdivision. The 68-year-old man wrapped his arm with a towel and was transported to a hospital. The extent of his injury was not immediately known, but it was not life-threatening, officials say. A neighbor described the alligator as being approximately four to five feet in length. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Lake County Sheriff's Office are investigating.

This is the second Tavares man to be attacked by an alligator in less than a month. On October 15, an alligator lunged at Doug Brown as he was working on a water pump behind a home on Canal Street, just blocks away from Wednesday's incident. Brown's mother witnessed the attack

"I said to Dougy, 'Watch the alligator!' and he kept looking at me, and I said, 'Here it comes!' and next thing, jumps straight up in the air and Dougy jumped up on his seat at that point, and it jumped to get his hand and he pulled his hand," explained Doreen Brown.

Brown sustained injuries to his hand; the 8-foot gator was trapped the following day by wildlife officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. FWC believes a resident in the community may have been feeding that alligator, which would explain why it was so aggressive.

According to FWC, Florida averages about seven unprovoked bites per year that are serious enough to require special medical treatment, but officials say the frequency of these serious bites is increasing. Alligators seldom bite people, and fatalities from such occurrences are extremely rare. Wildlife officers say an alligator that was repsonsible for the death of a 61-year-old man who was swimming at Blue Spring State park last month. James Okkerse disappeared while swimming with friends at the state park near Orange City on Oct. 19. His body was later recovered and the 12-foot alligator believed to be responsible was captured and killed. The Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office later confirmed that the man's death was the first fatality from an alligator attack since 2007.

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