Florida man bitten by alligator after thinking it was a dog

Alligator at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (This was not the gator from the story) (Norman Welsh, Norman Welsh / Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge)

NORTH PORT, Fla. – A Florida man was bitten by an alligator after apparently mistaking it for a dog in the middle of the night.

WTSP reported earlier this week that a man in Sarasota County was walking outside the Warm Mineral Spring Motel in North Port just after midnight when he saw a figure moving in the dark.

“He stated the figure appeared to look like a dog with a long leash, which is why he wasn’t hesitant to move out of the way,” a sheriff’s office spokesperson wrote in an email to WTSP.

Deputies said that’s when the alligator bit his right leg, ripping off a chunk of his muscle as he tried to escape.

The man was able to get the attention of a deputy who was in the area for an unrelated issue, and paramedics were called. The man was transported to a hospital.

The alligator was later captured and removed from the area.


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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.