Girl, 10, escapes from 8-foot alligator by prying open its jaws

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — An alligator bit a 10-year-old girl on the leg as she sat in shallow lake waters at a Florida park, authorities said.

The girl was with her family at Moss Park in Orange County when she was bitten Saturday, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Chad Weber.

Weber said she was sitting in water roughly 2 feet deep when the 8-foot-9-inch gator bit her on her knee and calf.

Officials say the girl was able to escape by poking the alligator in the nose, then prising open its mouth and pulling her leg out.

“She had puncture wounds but I don’t think they’re life threatening,” Weber told the Orlando Sentinel.

Her family took her to a hospital for treatment. Authorities trapped the alligator.

Orange County Parks and Recreation manager Matt Suedmeyer said the park’s waterfront areas were closed to swimmers for safety until further notice.

The Sentinel reported that a triathlete swimming in another lake flanking the park survived several bites from an alligator in 2010.

There have been 388 alligator bites on people in Florida since 1948, including 24 fatalities, according to the wildlife commission.

A 2-year-old Nebraska boy was killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World last June when the 7-foot animal dragged the child from the edge of a lagoon. Six non-fatal alligator bites also were reported statewide last year.

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