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Woman attacked by alligator while swimming in Florida lake

Posted: 2:10 PM, Aug 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-23 12:13:20Z

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — A woman was attacked by an alligator on Wednesday while she was swimming in a lake in Citrus County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The FWC says 24-year-old Felicitie Marie Gillette was swimming in Lake Hernando around 1 a.m. when an alligator grabbed her by the left arm and began to drag her underwater. She was reportedly able to fight off the alligator and call 911 for help. 

Gillette was taken to Ocala Regional Hospital for treatment of her injuries. According to the FWC, she was treated and released. She sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The alligator is believed to 5 to 6-feet long.

The FWC and the Citrus County Sheriff's Office are working to catch the alligator. A trapper has also been called to the scene.

The public beach access to Lake Hernando is closed while a wildlife trapper searches for the alligator.

 

Families who visit the lake say they've seen an alligator swim along the beach's public access area. 

"The alligator was on the hunt," Dennis Weis said. "You could tell by the aggressive movements by the alligator."

Dennis Weis shared cell phone video showing an alligator roaming in the water near the beach, just a few days before the attack. Weis believes that people were feeding the alligator.

"When the kids jumped into the water over there, he would go up over there, go under," Weis said. 

FWC says the victim is currently homeless.

FWC wants to remind the public that if anyone believes a specific alligator poses a threat to people, pets or property, they should immediately call the toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR or 866-392-4286.