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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.

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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.

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“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.

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