Mindless drivel: Note to self: Don't feed gators

Mindless drivel

Friday, October 07, 2005

Note to self: Don't feed gators

A lesson for peeps moving down here: try to avoid dangling food near a gator. They like to eat stuff!

A Palm Bay woman who fed an alligator bread learned why that's both unwise and illegal.

Laurin Sellers
Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer
October 7, 2005

MELBOURNE -- A Palm Bay woman feeding a 31/2-foot alligator Thursday ended up with a nasty bite on her hand and a written warning from wildlife officers, who said the encounter could have been a lot worse.
Danielle Rivera, 25, said she was tossing slices of bread to the gator at about 11 a.m. while visiting Manatee Point near Melbourne Avenue with her mother and 3-year-old son.
The trio were in an area of the park where people often go to watch manatees and feed fish when Rivera said she "got the bright idea to feed the alligator by hand." Rivera was kneeling near where the reptile was floating when it suddenly came out of the water toward her.
"I didn't know he would lunge out of the water like that," said the lifelong Florida resident, who also said she had no idea it's against the law to feed alligators.
When the gator grabbed the bread, its teeth grazed Rivera's right hand, leaving bloody scratches on her fingers.
She was taken by ambulance to Holmes Regional Medical Center, where she received a tetanus shot and antibiotics.
While the wounds didn't require stitches, Rivera said, her hand was swollen and hurting."This is a classic example of why it is against the law to feed alligators in Florida," said Joy Hill, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
"The good news is that Ms. Rivera was treated and released from the hospital within a couple of hours of the incident. If the alligator had been a couple of feet larger, this story may have had a much different ending."

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