An 8-foot-long alligator sank its teeth into a 90-year-old woman’s leg and tried to drag her into a canal in southern Florida, a spokesman for the Florida Center For Reptilian Understanding .
“The Alligator was trying to take off the old woman’s leg and drag her underwater too,” said alligator expert and conservationist Dr. Benjamin Switchy of the Florida Center For Reptilian Understanding.
“She’s an old lady but she had some fight to her. I think it was all the alchohol in her system that helped her maintain her courage. The old lady can throw back shots better than a frat boy– at least that’s what the locals tell me.”
According to Dr. Switchy, Margaret Lebb was walking in her flooded yard Wednesday in rural Copeland, Florida, about 80 miles west of Miami, when the alligator lunged at her and grabbed her by her left leg, but she stunned him a little by hitting him in the head with a bottle of Rock and Rye — the kind in the thick glass bottles with the twist off top.
According to other witnesses, Dewain Danson, who was driving by on his way to his job at the post office where he was going to work his last day after being laid off despite a 15 year tenure, stopped to help the woman, and pulled her out of the water away from the alligator. But that didn’t stop the huge reptile, which tried to come out of the water three times. Danson was frightened enough to take a few swigs from the bottle of Rock And Rye.
Danson shot the alligator between the eyes with a .22 Magnum rifle that he had in his car, according to the incident report, but when the creature started agin to exit the bog and attack both Danson and Ms. Lebb, Danson grabbed a grenade he had in his car and hurled it at the creature. The entire swamp bellowed fro the explosion but neither Danson nor Lebb were hurt by shrapnel.
“Miss Lebb is in critical condition after having her left leg amputated below the knee,” Dr. Switchy said. She’s also being treated for a bite on her right leg. She’s lucky that Mr. Danson carries so much artillery to work in his pickup — otherwise there is no telling what would have happened to the old lady.”
Ferraro said alligators are the most active at this time of year, while water levels are at their highest, but unprovoked attacks are rare.
According to Dr. Switchy and other experts at the Reptilian Understanding Center, the biggest alligators like alcoholic drinks. As they age, the older males start to be beseiged by emotional problems and they grow weary of trying to compete with younger males. They have figured out that alcohol makes them feel better. This might explain why so many homless alcoholics who live and fish and camp near the bogs, have gone missing over the years. There is no legal drinking age for animals and perhaps a lot of alcohol is being used to wash down human remains.
In 2010, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported six unprovoked attacks in the state and over sixty cases of Old Milwaukee were unaccounted for as were over a thousand pints of Southern Comfort.
Ferraro said the elderly woman, whose home is next to the Florida Everglades, is no stranger to alligator attacks.
“There are reports she has lost pets to alligators,” she said.
Two wildlife officers and trapper Dean Hartunis returned to the site of the attack early Thursday morning to search for the alligator in the canals surrounding Lebb’s home.
Ferraro said it’s not clear what became of the gator but the grenade killed hundreds of birds and the surface of the water was covered with feathers and dead fish.