NORTH PORT, FL — A 49-year-old man was bitten by an alligator in North Port early Tuesday morning after mistaking the reptile for a dog, authorities said.
Around 12:30 a.m., deputies were called to the Warm Mineral Springs Motel, 12597 S. Tamiami Trail, regarding “an animal problem,” Douglas Johnson, creative communications specialist with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in an email to Patch.
Deputy Jeffrey Mendez was already at the scene for a separate call and contacted dispatchers about a man who said an alligator bit his right leg.
The man told deputies that he was walking outside the motel when he saw a dark figure moving along the bushes on the shell path.
Thinking it was a dog with a long leash, he didn’t hesitate or move out of the alligator’s way, the sheriff’s office said.
The gator chomped down on his right leg, holding on tightly, the sheriff’s office said. As he tried to get away, he told deputies, he felt the gator tear out a chunk of his leg.
The victim found Mendez, who called Sarasota County EMS to the scene to help with the injuries. He was taken to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital campus in Venice for treatment.
As a nuisance alligator trapper contracted through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was on his way to the motel, Sgt. James Achille caught the gator … Read more.