'Aggressive' Alligator Bites Snorkeler, Shuts Down Swimming Area In Florida

By Zuri Anderson

July 19, 2023

American alligator in a swamp in south Florida
Photo: williamhc / iStock / Getty Images

An investigation is underway after an "aggressive" alligator attacked a snorkeler at a Florida spring, temporarily shutting down the area, per WFLA. The U.S. Forest Service said officials responded around 12:30 p.m. Monday (July 17) to the Alexander Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest.

Officials state a 7.5-foot alligator bit a man while he was snorkeling in the spring. He suffered puncture wounds and lacerations but was able to drive himself to the hospital, according to USFS's release.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers removed the suspected gator from the area and are investigating the incident. No word on what will happen to the reptile.

USFS also confirmed the swimming area will reopen when the investigation wraps up.

"Alexander Springs was briefly closed earlier this month for the removal of a different alligator, however, no prior alligator incidents this year (on ONF) involved any injuries to the public," officials wrote in the statement. "The USFS and FWC will continue to monitor conditions and remove alligators as necessary."

According to the release, it's alligator mating season right now in Florida. As a result, alligators will be more active and aggressive, especially if their nests are nearby. USFS warns people to be cautious in and around water and follow safety guidelines.

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