HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Florida (CW44 News At 10 | CNN) — Officials say an alligator bit a man in the face while swimming in Florida’s Lake Thonotosassa.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received a call about the incident around 3:45 p.m. Thursday, according to a statement shared with CNN. Lake Thonotosassa is located in Hillsborough County, near Tampa.
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The Hillsborough County Fire Department transported the 34-year-old victim to hospital, the Fish and Wildlife Commission said, adding that it sent a contracted alligator catcher to the lake and continues to investigate the incident.
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According to the commission, about 1.3 million alligators live in Florida, in all 67 counties. The agency recommends that people stay away from alligators and not handle or feed them. Nuisance alligators — those that are four feet or taller and believed to pose a threat to people, their pets or property — are captured and killed by the agency through its Statewide Nuisance Alligator program. A total of 9,442 nuisance alligators were killed in 2021, the commission says.
There have been at least three deadly alligator attacks in the US this year. In July, an elderly woman died after falling into a lake and being grabbed by two alligators in Florida. Another person was killed in June by an alligator near a retention pond in South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach. And in late May, a Florida man was killed by an alligator while searching for Frisbees in a lake.
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