TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray News) - A 5-year-old girl in Florida is recovering at home after she was attacked by an alligator while swimming at a recreation area, WCTV reports.
Ryanne Gwaltney, 5, and her grandfather, Clifford Gregg, went for an afternoon swim Saturday at the Lost Lake Recreation Area in Leon County, Fla.
Gregg says the two noticed an alligator when they got out of the water to get a snack, but they didn’t see the creature after that. About half an hour later, they decided to get back in the water.
That’s when the alligator attacked Ryanne from behind and bit her leg.
“I waded out a little bit further looking around, keeping my eyes open for the alligator. I had stepped 10 or 15 feet away... when she screamed," Gregg said.
Gregg says he heard the panic in Ryanne’s screams and realized what was happening. He immediately jumped into action.
“He came in between us, and I pounded the water with my hands over where he was at. He was out of the way, and then I scooped her up," Gregg said.
The wound on Ryanne’s leg required 11 stitches. She is now recovering at home.
Gregg says his granddaughter was wearing a flotation device at the time of the attack, and he thinks that may have helped save her life.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident. A spokesman says a contracted nuisance alligator trapper successfully removed the alligator, which measured 6-foot-8.