Alligator attacks woman who fell into South Florida canal

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A woman was severely injured Monday during an alligator attack after she fell into a canal in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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According to WTVT, the attack occurred at around 6 a.m. in an area where homeless people are known to sleep under a Salt Creek bridge.

“I heard she was sleeping at the edge of the wall, and then she fell in, and it splashed. (The alligator) just reacted like an alligator would act, just spontaneously,” business owner Dale Mastry told the TV station.

Mastry, whose family has operated a nearby bait and tackle shop for nearly 50 years, told WTVT that he could not recall any other alligator attacks in the area.

A St. Petersburg Fire Rescue spokesman confirmed to WFLA that the woman had been resting on a seawall and was attacked after she fell into the canal just off of Fourth Street.

The victim, identified only as a woman in her late 50s, suffered injuries to her arm, hand and leg but is listed in stable condition at an area hospital, the TV station reported.

According to WTVT, a trapper enlisted by state wildlife officials removed the alligator, which measured 10 feet, 11 inches long, a few hours after the attack.