Lake at Moss Park closed after 10-year-old girl bitten by alligator

Alligator attack leads to week-long closure of Lake Moss Park

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A 10-year-old girl is recovering at home after she was bitten by an alligator in Lake Mary Jane at Lake Moss Park, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said.

The girl was sitting in the 2-feet deep water, in a designated swim area, shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday when the alligator, which was estimated to be 8 to 9 feet long, attacked, FWC officials said.

She was transported to Nemours Children's Hospital by her parents, officials said. She has at least 10 stitches, her father told Channel 9's Julie Salomone.

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The girl said she fought off the gator by poking it in the nostril, something she learned while visiting Gatorland, a theme park and wildlife preserve, her father said. She also pried the gator's mouth open to remove her leg, the girl told officials.

"To get an animal with the strongest bite on the planet to let go of you is a miracle," said Donald Aldarelli, Gatorland representative. "I'm just happy that she heard it here."

FWC trapper George Walrath captured and euthanized the gator in Lake Hart after the attack, according to Orange County Parks and Recreation.

"In an abundance of caution, the waterfront will be off limits to the public for the next week while Florida Fish & Wildlife conduct a review and until Orange County Parks & Recreation Division can meet with the agency to review the situation before making any decisions on opening the waterfront," said Matt Suedmeyer, manager of Orange County Parks & Recreation Division, in a statement.

Graves death led to officials adding more alligator warning signs throughout the county.

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