Alligators are everywhere in Florida. They’re in the lakes, ponds, rivers, swamps, and they find their way into swimming pools, homes, golf courses, and everywhere else.
Floridians are generally pretty comfortable around alligators. It’s par for the course when you grow up around them. A field scientist would be particularly comfortable around gators given that it’s part of the job description.
Everyone has a lapse in attention at some point in their professional career. It happens to me at least once a week. This researcher in Palm Beach County mistook an alligator for a log and all hell broke loose in an instant when she was bitten by the alligator.
Luckily for her, she was wearing rubber waders and that might’ve protected her from a potentially deadly bite and instead only suffered cuts and bruises according to the WPTV report:
A woman was bitten by an alligator in Palm Beach County on Thursday morning.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the attack happened around 10:45 a.m. inside the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge.
The agency told WPTV’s Miranda Christian that the victim, 31-year-old Kelsey Pollack, is an employee with the South Florida Water Management District.
She was going to a research site on Tree Island in the refuge and accidentally stepped on a gator. That’s when the reptile turned and bit her on the leg.
Officials said Pollack had waders on which protected her leg. She suffered bruises and cuts but is otherwise OK. Paramedics took her to Delray Medical Center to be treated. (via WPTV)
I’m constantly worried about stepping on a snake while hiking, especially in the Fall up north when the ground is littered with leaves. These snakes are easily camouflaged in the forest and the same goes for alligators in a pond. They blend in perfectly with the surroundings and can slip away into the green algae like a sniper setting up for that kill shot.
The alligator that bit this woman won’t be removed from the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge because it is not considered to be a nuisance. I think it’s safe to assume that the *ONLY* reason this attack occurred is that she stepped on the gator’s back and probably put a decent amount of pressure on it when she mistook it for a log.
For more on this story, you can click here to visit the Orlando Sentinel.