The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office reported a 54-year-old man had to be airlifted after an alligator got territorial and attacked him last Tuesday. The event occurred at 6:30 p.m. The man was transiting the 311 crossroad in Bushnell when an 8.6-foot long gator attacked him. The victim suffered injuries to his right leg and was taken to the Ocala Regional Hospital.
The Sheriff’s office announced the news via Facebook, but the officials did not say the name of the victim or his current situation. After the attack was reported, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived at the scene, found the animal and killed it.
Many factors make an alligator attack a person, but based on the nature of the injuries, the animal was probably scared or territorial. When they feel their territory is being invaded or get scared, these reptiles deliver a single non-deadly attack biting and releasing. Since the authorities reported it was 8.6 foot long, it would be safe to say that if the creature had deadly intent, the story would be completely different.
“People don’t know how to live in Florida,” said Elton Lawrence, a Facebook user commenting at the Sheriff’s office post.
People need to be careful since it is their territory
Alligators are predators, and they have been perfecting a simple set of skills to ambush their prey for millions of years. Since people decided to go and live next to them, it would be a good idea to avoid them. Humans are not a natural prey for the reptiles, but they will attack anything if they have a chance. There is even a video showing one of these reptiles attacking a truck which by the way, also shows how careful people are when dealing with this animals.
Several agencies work very hard to warn the citizens of the area, keep the animals to their territory, and in general, prevent this kind of events, but they still say that in an area where people and gators live, attacks will probably occur. There are a lot of signs that mark the animal’s known territories. However, people still forget that they can move around and that they do it a lot. Sometimes, it is on their free will, but there are also times where natural disasters such as hurricanes or strong storms move them or their babies. When the latter happens, the alligators will go anywhere looking for their spawn.
— CNN (@CNN) June 16, 2016
This case, though, is probably caused by the breeding season. It starts in April and has its peak in May or early June. In this season, the animals will spread further and further from their territory looking for a mate. No wonder most encounters with the reptiles occur during these months. One of the problems is that they are kind of shy animals, so when they are faced with people they get scared and attack to be left alone.
That is why, even though Floridians are concerned about the man, they are somewhat angry with the authorities for having the animal killed instead of re-positioned.