A 10-year-old girl survived an alligator attack over the weekend while visiting Lake Moss Park, Florida, with her family. Local news station WFTV spoke with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials, who said the attack occurred at around 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The young girl was wading in 2-feet-deep water in a designated swim area when an 8-to-9-foot gator clamped its teeth around her leg, FWC officials told WFTV.
Wait WHAT! HOW!? This little girl is my new hero!
— Alison Mastrangelo (@AlisonM_TV) May 7, 2017
Speaking to local officials, 10-year-old Juliana explained that she was able to fight off the gator by poking its nostrils and prying its mouth open to release her leg. The girl’s father said his daughter learned how to handle gator attacks at Gatorland, a Florida theme park and wildlife preserve.
For anyone who has ever watched shows like “I Survived” and “Human Prey,” it’s pretty clear that what happened at Lake Moss Park was nothing short of miraculous. Few prime-aged men would be fortunate enough to walk away from an 8-foot gator attack with all of their limbs.
Donald Aldarelli, a Gatorland representative, confirmed that Juliana’s survival was no small feat.
“To get an animal with the strongest bite on the planet to let go of you is a miracle,” Aldarelli, told WFTV. “I’m just happy that she heard it here.”
On Monday, Aldarelli and his colleague Tim posted a video to the Gatorland Facebook page to commend Juliana for doing “the right thing” and to spread awareness about alligator attacks.
Tim Williams our "Dean of Alligator Wrestling" gives us a lesson in love!#wearealligators #weareflorida #wearefamily
Posted by Gatorland Orlando on Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Juliana received at least 10 stitches at Nemours Children’s Hospital on Saturday and is now recovering at home, her father told WFTV.
The gator who bit the child was captured and euthanized later Saturday by FWC trapper George Walrath, according to Orange County Parks and Recreation. In light of the attack, the park will be closed for the next week while Florida Fish & Wildlife conduct a review and meet with the Orange County Parks & Recreation Division to discuss operations moving forward.
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