11-Foot Alligator Attacks Woman Who Fell Into Canal, Causing Severe Injury

On Monday, a woman in St. Petersburg, Florida was attacked by an alligator after falling into a canal, reported authorities.

While extremely dangerous, and even lethal, unprovoked alligator attacks are a rarity in the state. In 2020, for example, data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported 12 instances of unprovoked bites by wild alligators on humans. Of the 12, eight were considered "major bites," meaning that the victim "required medical care, beyond first aid, to treat wounds." However, the year saw zero fatalities due to alligator attacks.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, this particular incident began with the unnamed victim, who was reportedly homeless, resting on a seawall.

The woman then fell from the seawall and into the canal waters below. Hearing her cries for help, a passerby called 911.

The victim, reportedly in her 50's, sustained serious injuries—to her arms, specifically—before authorities were able to intervene. She has since been hospitalized for her injuries and is said to be in stable condition.

The incident took place around 6 a.m. local time, noted St. Petersburg Fire Rescue in a Monday Facebook post.

A homeless woman sitting on the edge of a canal fell into the water where she was attacked by an alligator. An alligator swimming in Boynton Beach, Florida. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

"Crews responded immediately using ladders, safety lines, and saws to get to the victim," noted the department. "A rescue basket was utilized to remove the victim from the water. SPPD stood guard for the victim and rescuers as the large alligator was present near the scene."

They added that she had sustained "severe injuries to her upper extremities," during the attack.

Following the attack, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a permit to remove the potentially dangerous alligator.

According to commission spokesman Senior Officer Bryce Phillippi, per the Tampa Bay Times, a trapper located the alligator, which measured 10 feet and 11 inches in length.

The fire department said the alligator has been euthanized, reported the news outlet, but officials from the wildlife commission have not yet confirmed that claim.

Newsweek has reached out to the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue for additional comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.

A handful of other alligator attacks have been reported in Florida over the past several weeks, targeting pet dogs in particular. In late September, an alligator killed and ate a pet dog that its owner had taken out for a walk. Like the incident on Monday, the attack took place near a canal.

About one month earlier, a 74-year-old woman rescued her dog after an alligator attacked it. The two were on a walk when, unleashed, the dog ran into a nearby body of water. An alligator grabbed the dog, prompting the woman to fight back, heroically slamming down on the reptile. The gator released the dog but bit the woman's hand before they could escape.