MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - A 77-year-old Florida woman is recovering after she was attacked by a nearly 8-foot alligator in a retirement community.
This happened inside of the gated Del Webb community in Lakewood Ranch. A neighbor says he's never seen anything like this before.
"I lived here five years and I've never seen a gator come after anybody like that," wildlife photographer Gordon Silver said. "Usually they run the other way, even when you see him on the path around here crossing over from pond to pond. They see a human and they take off."
Crews say neighbors heard the woman screaming and rushed to help, yelling and running at the gator until finally let her go. The gator ran back into the water. Officials say the alligator made itself comfortable just about two-feet away from the shore and did not move.
"His eyes were locked on us and luckily MSO was there to keep us safe and he had his weapon drawn just in case the gator did attack again," East Manatee Fire Rescue said.
A trapper was quickly called out to the scene. Fire rescue crews say once that trapper showed up it became clear the alligator, which measured at 7-feet 10-inches, showed characteristics that led experts to believe someone had been feeding it.
Florida Fish and Wildlife says the gator was removed from the community and euthanized.
Silver says residents need to be cautious when walking around water in Florida.
"Every pond you come across, it could be a little small puddle, and there could be a gator in there."