A Florida man was bitten on the leg by an unexpected visitor: An alligator waiting right outside his door.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told CNN in an email that they received a call about the bite on March 4. The 56-year-old man received a bite injury to his thigh, according to the commission. They dispatched a nuisance alligator trapper to remove the reptile from the area.
CNN affiliate WKMG reported that the Daytona Beach resident Scot Hollingsworth was watching TV when he heard a bump at the door.
“I jumped up and headed over and opened the door, stepped out while trying to reach the lights and barely got out the door and got my leg clamped on and (it) started shaking really violently,” he said, according to WKMG.
He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries from the 9-foot gator.
“I suspect I surprised the alligator as much as he surprised me,” Hollingsworth said.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told CNN that people should keep a safe distance from alligators at all times. You should also keep pets on a leash, swim only in designated areas during daylight hours and never feed an alligator.
The commission also explains on their website that Floridians can anticipate seeing more alligators than usual as the weather warms up. The reptiles are also most active between dusk and dawn.
Florida is home to a total of around 1.3 million alligators, according to the commission’s website. The agency routinely euthanizes so-called “nuisance” gators, which are 4 feet long or larger and pose a threat to people or wildlife. The commission says relocated alligators will usually try to return to the site where they were captured and continue to create problems, so they must be euthanized or rehomed to zoos or wildlife rescues.