Home Animals Woman steps on alligator, gets bit at wildlife refuge

Woman steps on alligator, gets bit at wildlife refuge


Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — An alligator bit a woman on the leg at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said.

It happened about 10:45 a.m. Thursday in the refuge, west of Boynton Beach, fire officials said.

The 31-year-old woman, Kelsey Pollack, was bitten after she accidentally stepped on a gator while she performed contract work at the refuge, according to Tammy Sapp, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is investigating the incident.

Pollack, a researcher with the South Florida Water Management District, was taken to Delray Medical Center for cuts and bruises, according to WPTV-Ch. 5 which also reported that she was wearing waders during the incident.

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a 147,000-acre wildlife sanctuary that includes the most northern reaches of the Everglades.

While the state’s alligator population is estimated at 1.3 million alligators of every size, serious injuries caused by the reptile are rare in Florida, Sapp said.

Last year, a 12-foot-6-inch alligator killed Plantation resident Shizuka Matsuki as she walked her dogs along the bank of a lake at the Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park. One of her arms was later found inside the reptile.

In 2007, a 36-year-old man died while swimming across a pond when a gator “seized and drowned” him in the water at the Miccosukee Indian reservation in west Miami. The year before, an alligator killed a 28-year-old woman at the North New River Canal in Sunrise.

Generally, a gator can be labeled a nuisance if it’s at least 4 feet long and is believed to pose a threat to people or pets. Such alligators have recently shown up strolling along a sidewalk in front of people’s homes and swimming down flooded streets.

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