ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – A ten-year-old girl has quite a tale to tell after she was bitten by a nine-foot gator while swimming in a park’s lake over the weekend.
“A group of people was swimming in the lake and a little girl about 10 years old started screaming,” said Emilio Aquino who ran to her aid.
Juliana Ossa, 10, said she was sitting in a shallow part of a designated swimming area of Lake Mary Jane when she was bitten on the knee. Not only was the girl able to pry the alligator’s mouth open, she said she also poked it in the nostril like she learned at Gatorland.
Aquino said he ran to her when he heard Juliana scream.
“I realized that she was screaming that she got bit by an alligator. At this point, I couldn’t see anything but a couple seconds later, I saw the alligator so I ran towards the water,” he said.
Juliana was taken to the hospital where she was treated and released.
County officials said there were lifeguards on duty at the lake and there were also signs posted that warned of wildlife and swimming was at each person’s own risk.
Wildlife officers later found the gator and euthanized it. The county is closing the lake to swimmers through next week while Florida’s wildlife agency investigates.