Gators 101: Tips to stay safe
How to live with these reptiles.
A 90-year-old woman was hospitalized this afternoon with severe leg trauma after suffering an alligator bite in her front yard.
Margaret Webb, of Copeland, was in critical condition at Lee Memorial Hospital as of 4:30 p.m., said Gabriella Ferraro, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Webb was in her front yard near a canal when an alligator reported to be about eight feet long came up and bit her leg, FWC Capt. Jayson Horadam said. She was pulled to safety by 30-year-old Dwain Daniels, who was driving by Webb's 25750 State Road 29 ranch house and saw Webb in the water.
Daniels said he has known Webb all his life, and often would honk at her as he passed by the house. When driving by at about 12:30 p.m. today, he saw Webb in trouble and turned his car around.
The alligator had released Webb by the time Daniels reached her, but he was able to shoot at it. Two alligator wranglers worked to no avail for about an hour to find the gator.
"We picked her up out of the water and her son, Jim Webb, happened to be driving by," Daniels said. "We carried her all the way up the yard from there."
Horadam said the canal was about 14 feet deep. If the gator was fatally shot, it could float to the surface in a couple days, he said.
Alligator attacks against humans are rare in the area, said Collier County Sheriff's Cpl. George Cahill, who responded to the scene.
"For area residents that have lived here all their lives, they're still in shock," Cahill said.
In July of 2010, a 18-year-old man lost his left hand to a 10-foot alligator. Tim Delano was swimming in a canal in Golden Gate Estates and survived by punching and pulling himself away from the gator.