Authorities captured and put to death an alligator on Friday, July 8, after the animal bit a woman who was wading in the waters of the Econlockhatchee River in the Little Big Econ State Forest, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.
The alligator, which measured almost 11 feet bit the woman, who was not publicly identified, at about 2:30 p.m. as she was standing in the waist-deep water.
Wildlife officials believe that they captured the animal that had perpetrated the attack because it was still in the area where the incident happened. It was trapped and killed later in the evening.
The woman was taken to the Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford and was treated there for her injuries. She is expected to fully recover.
The incident is not the first alligator attack that happened in the Little Big Econ State Forest.
In July 2013, an alligator measuring between 9 and 10 feet also bit a 17-year- old boy. Andrew Hudson, who was bitten on the back of his head and neck, had to undergo 19 stitches and 12 staples after the attack.
Florida has recently witnessed a series of alligator attacks. Last month, an alligator snatched a 2-year-old boy who was wading into a foot-deep lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando.
Although alligators are also found in other states including North Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana, they abound in Florida following a successful conservation program. More than 1 million alligators currently occupy all 67 counties in Florida.
Alligators tend to be less dangerous compared with crocodiles because they are more choosy when selecting their prey. While crocodiles eat anything that moves including large mammals, alligators target prey animals that are often smaller than adult humans so they normally target birds, fish, other reptiles and small mammals.
Experts, however, said that alligator attacks are likely to become more common since both the populations of humans and alligators are increasing. In many coastal regions, for instance, humans encroach on alligator habitat so there are high chances that the two species will cross paths.
Experts said that being aware of the risks and following the rules outlined by wildlife authorities may help prevent attacks.
"Coexisting with large dangerous predators requires us to understand their behaviour and behave responsibly around them," said Simon Pooley, who works with the Crocodile Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).