The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the alligator grabbed ahold of her lower right leg. They called a nuisance alligator trapper to remove the 7'7 [231cm] alligator.
The woman, 43, was walking her dog near a small lake in the Pinellas County community when the alligator pounced.
“I was walking my dog and all the sudden I looked back and I see this lady kinda falling by the lake a little bit and apparently she was walking her dog close to the edge of the lake,” resident and witness Greg Vance told Fox 13.
“It looked like the gator tried to get the dog but she grabbed the dog really quick, but in turn, she slipped down and the gator got her leg just underneath the knee… It was like one chomp and then he went back into the water,” he said.
“I’ve seen that same gator just kinda sitting out on the grass,” Mr Vance added. “It’s a pretty big gator. Matter of fact, I’ve seen him walking a couple times so I always try to avoid being in that area, any place close to the water, because it happens.”
The FWC said that while it does happen, it’s rare for people to be attacked by alligators in Florida. They added that relocating alligators who are a nuisance isn’t “a feasible option”.
“Relocated alligators nearly always try to return to their capture site. In the process of returning, they can create problems for people or other alligators along the way,” FWC said in a statement. “If an alligator successfully returns, capturing it again would be necessary and usually more difficult the second time.”
When alligators are removed they become the property of the trappers. They’re sometimes sold to zoos or other animal facilities but are usually put down and processed for their hides and meat.
Trappers are paid $30 for capturing an alligator under contractual agreements with Florida, but they aren’t employed by the state.
“Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, which is estimated at 1.3 million alligators of every size,” an FWC spokesperson said. They can be found in all of the state’s 67 counties.
“They prefer freshwater lakes and slow-moving rivers and their associated wetlands, but they also can be found in brackish water habitats,” the spokesperson added. “Anywhere there is standing water, an alligator might be found.”