An alligator attacked and bit a man in the face at John S. Taylor Park in Florida on Friday (June 12) morning.
Largo Police Department spokesman Lt. Scott Gore said the man, identified as 40-year-old Travis Spitzer, was wading in Taylor Lake on Friday morning when the incident took place.
“Supposedly he was in the water up to his waist and he was looking for Frisbees when the gator took notice of him,” Gore said, adding that the victim allegedly used his left hand to get the reptile off him.
Spitzer was immediately rushed to a local hospital with injuries to his face and hand.
The incident was being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Tampa office.
Stating that this was the first time in 10 years that a person was attacked by a gator at the park, FWC spokesman Bryce Phillippi told Tampa Bay Times, “Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida. The (wildlife commission) reminds Florida residents and visitors that when temperatures rise alligators become more active and visible.”
Meanwhile, the victim was receiving treatment at a hospital and was expected to survive.
The incident comes weeks after a teen was attacked by a 10-foot alligator in Charlotte County, Florida. The 14-year-old boy and his mother were walking near a pond when the boy was attacked. He was rushed to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He, however, suffered an open fracture to the leg.
“The boy and his mother were here with their two dogs and they were just enjoying the weather with their two dogs and playing near the shoreline there,” senior officer Adam Brown, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said, adding, “The alligator will be removed and taken to an alligator farm in Glades County.”
In another incident in the state last month, Jim Darlington, an alligator farm employee, was attacked by a gator in the farm’s swamp area. The man was in a canoe when the reptile pulled him into the water and bit him. He was rushed to a local hospital and was recovering.