MELBOURNE, Fla. – A 26-year-old woman who suffered several bites from an alligator while swimming in a Florida pond on Saturday continues to recover, state wildlife officials say.
The bites to Nichole A. Tillman, of Melbourne, caused several injuries that were not life-threatening. An eight-foot alligator attacked her while she was wading in a Brevard County pond.
A short time after the incident was reported, gator trapper Frank Robb, contracted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, removed the alligator suspected in the attack, officials said.
“He was probably an 8-footer missing 2 feet of his tail from an old fight, and most all of his teeth was missing,” Robb said. Based on the gator’s behavior and lack of fear, Robb said it had probably been fed in the past.
Chad Weber, a spokesman for FWC, said serious injuries caused by alligator bites are rare in Florida.
The Saturday incident was reported after 3 p.m. at Fay Lake Wilderness Park in Port St. John. Paramedics responded within minutes and quickly found Tillman.
Brevard County Fire Rescue said Tillman had “significant” bite injuries. She was flown on a medical helicopter to get care.
Residents and visitors should look for alligators in or near any body of water in Florida, Weber said. Alligators are more active during the spring and summer, he noted.
Contributing: Tyler Vazquez. Follow J.D. Gallop on Twitter @JDGallop
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