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LAKELAND (CBSMiami) – An 85-year-old man is hospitalized after he was bitten by an alligator at a retirement community in Lakeland.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers and trappers found the gator, which was more than nine feet long. They were able to confirm it was the right one when they found the man’s white sneaker in its mouth.

According to a post on the Cypress Lakes community’s Facebook page, the man went into a marshy, wooded area to flush out birds.

“His wife heard him screaming supposedly. And I guess his neighbor came to his rescue,” said Jane Rickel who lives in Cypress Lakes.

Rickel said there isn’t a pond in the community that doesn’t have a gator or two in it. She said doesn’t worry about getting attacked by one but does look out for her dog Buster.

“He’s never on the leash because he’s so old and so well behaved. So I figure I’ll have to come to his rescue and kill the alligator,” she said.

The injured man was taken to an area hospital, residents heard that he is okay.

Comments (15)
  1. Jeff Smith says:

    Glad he’s OK. That had to be exciting!

  2. Alligators need to eat too. Sad end for it. rip

    1. Ronald Roman says:

      Sad end for it? You mean, for the sneaker? They even recover that…

  3. Need to allow alligator hunting again

  4. Dennis Letendre says:

    @Sal we have alligator hunting in Florida. THe issue is, if you are walking around in a swamp, you are putting yourself at risk from may things. The swamps and gators were here first. I feel sorry the guy was injured, but at 85, what was he doing wading in a swamp, with no stick?

  5. Al Martin says:

    Did anyone notice that this article is gibberish? I’m not sure what the dog has to do with it. What alligator is she going to kill. Punctuation seems a bit random. Are they subbing out the writing to the Elementary School?

  6. Mike Woods says:

    Time to go Gator hunting….

  7. Susan McMahon says:

    “The man went into a marshy, wooded area to flush out birds.” Why? Please, someone tell me why he did this.

  8. Charles Aronowitz says:

    If you invade the alligator’s territory you are asking for it.

  9. Vox Veritas says:

    It was a retirement community. The reptile should have been kicking back, enjoying his golden years. What’s he doing still working?

  10. David Springthorpe says:

    “He’s never on the leash because he’s so old and so well behaved . . .” Unfortunately, not everyone living in a retirement community can claim that . . .