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An alligator bit a man at Lake Thonotosassa in Thonotosassa, Florida, shown in a file photo from February 19, 2020. This is a generic photo of Lake Thonotosassa and does not show the specific site of the attack. (Luis Santana-Tampa Bay Times-ZUMA Press)
An alligator bit a man’s face while he was swimming in Lake Thonotosassa in Florida, according to officials
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received a call about the incident at around 3:45 PM on Thursday, according to a statement shared with CNN. Lake Thonotosassa is located in Hillsborough County near Tampa.
The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue transported the 34-year-old victim to the hospital, the FWC said, adding that it dispatched a contracted alligator trapper to the lake and is continuing to investigate the incident.
Around 1.3 million alligators call Florida home, according to the FWC, living in all 67 counties in the state. The agency recommends people stay away from alligators and avoid handling or feeding them.
Nuisance alligators — those that are 4 feet longer or more and believed to pose a threat to people, their pets, or property — are trapped and killed by the agency through its Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program
A total of 9,442 nuisance alligators were killed in 2021, the FWC says.
There have been at least three fatal alligator attacks in the US this year. In July, an elderly woman died after falling into a lake and being grabbed by two alligators in Florida.
Another person was killed by an alligator near a retention pond in South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach in June.
And a Florida man was killed by an alligator while searching for Frisbees in a lake in late May.