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Florida Man Bitten by 9-Foot Alligator That Was Waiting for Him on His Porch

He though it was a dog.

A Florida man was attacked by a nine-foot-long alligator after he opened the front door to his house. News reports indicated the gator had been waiting for him outside. Although it's unclear if the man and reptile had a previous relationship, the man was reportedly surprised by the bite, which happened about 9:30 p.m. local time. According to police, the man heard a noise in his front yard; thinking it was someone looking for his son, he opened the front door to investigate. Read on to find out what happened next.

"Something Grabbed Me"


Police said when Scott Hollingsworth opened the front door of his Daytona Beach home, the alligator lunged at him and bit him on the upper thigh. "Something grabbed me on the leg and started shaking violently," he told the Daily Mail. He assumed the animal was a dog. Soon he realized it was a gator, which he estimated was six to seven feet long. (It was later reported to be nine feet.) Shocked, Hollingsworth closed the door and discovered he had a huge gash on his leg.

Family Had Seen Gators Behind the House


When police officers responded, they spotted the alligator near the front entrance to the home. They called in a trapper from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who arrived and euthanized the animal, the Daily Mail reported. Hollingsworth was transported to the hospital, where he underwent surgery for non-life-threatening injuries. "Fortunately, there's no damage to my knee, which I was concerned about. Everything's going well," he said. Hollingsworth's family told local station WESH they had seen gators in a pond behind their house before but never on the front step. 

Another Recent Gator Attack


The attack happened weeks after an 85-year-old woman was attacked and killed by an alligator while she was out walking her dog. Gloria Serge was walking her dog at the Spanish Lakes Fairways retirement community in Fort Pierce, Florida, when the alligator emerged suddenly from the water, went for the dog, then pulled the woman under.

Dramatic Eyewitness Account


Carol Thomas, a retiree who lives beside the lake, said she was in her bedroom when she looked out her window and saw the gator attacking her neighbor. "I heard something, and I looked and Gloria was down. The dog was running up the hill, and I saw the alligator come out and grab her leg," said Thomas. "She came up for air, and she pushed her hair back, you know, out of her eyes and her arm was out, and I said, 'Gloria swim toward the paddle boat!' We have one overturned in the lake, 'cause I figured if she could get there I could shove it out, she could grab it. She said 'I can't. The gator has me!'" Thomas said.

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"Watch Out For Them"


Neighbors told CBS 12 that alligators are commonly seen in the area. "We count them, we stop and take pictures, as long as you don't go near them," resident Bill Large said. "They move around at night, you'll see them walking from pond to pond. We just have to be vigilant and watch out for them." The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said alligators usually don't attack people and that fatal alligator encounters are rare. In the last decade, Florida has averaged eight alligator bites requiring medical attention each year. Experts advise that if you see an alligator, stay at least 15 to 20 feet away.

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