Florida Girl Survives Alligator Attack With Trick She Learned in Gatorland
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
Alligator attacks are far too common in the state of Florida. On May 6, a 10-year-old girl swimming in a Florida lake avoided certain alligator death by using a life-saving technique. She had the presence of mind to recall the trick she learned from Gatorland in Orlando, Florida.
Juliana Ossa was in a designated swimming area in about two feet of water in Moss Lake Park when she was attacked by an 8’9” alligator. A passerby heard her screams and alerted two lifeguards. They came to her rescue and bandaged her bleeding leg.
“Got the child out of the water real quick. Grabbed the child, notified everybody to get out of the water, while the lifeguards were blowing the whistles. It was just a joint effort by the patrons,” Matt Suedmeyer of Orange County Parks and Recreation told Florida television station WTVT.
At the lake where Ossa was attacked, there were signs warning of alligators that read, “swim at your own risk.”
She was pulled to shore and rushed to Nemours Children’s Hospital.
Ossa was “treated for lacerations and multiple puncture wounds in the back of her left knee and lower thigh – 14 stitches were needed,” the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) told Today.
The young girl was back home on May 8 with her leg covered in bandages from hip to toe.
Juliana Ossa recalled her ordeal, which she described surrounded by her parents in her hospital room. Fidgeting with a toy alligator, she illustrated what she did.
“I thought he thought I was like this ginormous piece of chicken,” she told Today. “I started punching it’s forehead and it still wouldn’t let go. I’d stick my two fingers up its nostrils and it had to open it’s mouth and let my leg out so it could breathe.”
Ossa reportedly learned these tricks in Gatorland.
The alligator was captured by FWC and euthanized after the attack.
If you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, Florida Beach Lifestyle recommends that you assume all Florida lakes and canals have gators that can run fast. Do not feed the gators, do not poke them, and do not be near the water when it is dark outside.