A 10-year-old girl has escaped an alligator attack — by fighting back with her own hands.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the girl was sitting in 2-foot-deep water in a Lake Mary Jane designated swimming area at Moss Park in Orlando, Florida, accompanied by four family members. She was bitten on her calf and knee by the 8-foot, 9-inch reptile, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports.
The girl was reportedly able to pry the alligator’s jaws open to free her own leg and received assistance from a lifeguard on duty. She was subsequently taken to Nemours Children’s Hospital, and her injuries are said to be non-life-threatening.
Orlando Sentinel reports that the alligator was trapped after the incident, and that the park’s waterfront section will remain closed throughout this week for “an abundance of caution,” according to manager of Orange County Parks and Recreation Matt Suedmeyer.
Following the June tragedy, FWC officials said that alligator attacks are “a very rare occurrence in Florida.”
“FWC works diligently to keep Floridians and our visitors safe and informed on what to do if they spot a potentially dangerous alligator,” they said in a statement.
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The animal responsible for the attack on Lane, who had been vacationing with his family from Nebraska, was euthanized following the incident.
“After the tragic loss of our beloved 2-year-old son, Lane Thomas, we have created the Lane Thomas Foundation to honor his memory,” read a subsequent statement from Lane’s parents, Melissa and Matt Graves.
“Losing Lane has broken our hearts in the worst possible way. While there is no way to mend our hearts, we can do good work in his honor.”