18 Years Old Student Was Bitten by the Alligator on the School Trip

Vada(10)

This happening is very concerning to me. I have to wonder what was that professor thinking, and did not these students ask the question "Is this safe"? I think about what if that alligator was very much bigger or hungrier.


"NEWS RELEASE At approximately 1:30 PM today, an 18-year-old female was bitten by an alligator in Everglades National Park and sustained two puncture wounds to her lower right leg. We are very grateful that her injuries were not more severe. She was on a wet hike with a college group led by her professor and had been swimming in the water.


National Park Service Rangers and Miami Dade Fire and Rescue responded and reported that the victim was calm and not experiencing much pain. The victim declined transport by ambulance or air rescue and opted for self-transport to the hospital. Park biologists say this may have been a defensive bite, which could occur if the alligator was provoked, even accidentally. While the park is a safe place to visit, we remind visitors to stay alert and exercise caution, especially around wildlife, and do not recommend swimming in the park."


https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/alligator-bites-florida-college-student-in-everglades



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patriciae_gw(07)

Kind of a mixy article-was she swimming or wading?

As a biology student I certainly got in harms way any number of times. You cant study aquatic life without doing that. Wading armpit deep walking on cypress knees and roots while snakes swam around our bodies..water snakes or water moccasins? Both bite. Stay away from baby alligators because their mothers are protective and so on. Not high school and as an adult I chose to take the risk.

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HU-885118952

Wouldn't catch me wading in the Everglades! Sounds like she's lucky, actually.

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Vada(10)

Patriciae_gw, I understand that 18 years of age is adult age (for some things), but it seems foolish to me to go into or to lead people into snake and alligator-infested water.

I went back to the link where the news release came from, and it also says

"According to the park, around 1:30 p.m., the teen was on a hike with her college group of about 15 students led by her professor. As the group waded through the water, the alligator bit her on the lower right leg."

From this article, the student was swimming, then wading with the class, when she was attacked by the alligator. How could anyone see if there were alligators there? But I know that the Everglades has many alligators.


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Vada(10)

Patriciae_gw, I forgot to ask you about this

"As a biology student I certainly got in harms way any number of times."

What happened?

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patriciae_gw(07)

I was walking with a group on the Gulf coast and hit a chip of wood with my foot uncovering a very young rattlesnake in a small depression. One of the teaching assistants snagged it up and we had an impromptu explanation on how to tell a baby rattler (in this case timber) from a baby water moccasin(yellow nub on the end of its tail). The episode of wading through a swamp with probable water snakes swimming around us. The worst was the sulfur mud, called hurricane mud as well, very fine and deep and when you stand up you can just sink if your feet aren't big enough. We came nigh to losing a tiny grad student. We had to leave her behind. I either laid down or attached myself to a guy with size 14 feet. We regularly saw alligators on the coast and every other place we went had snapping and alligator snappers plus soft shell turtles that take off a finger or even a hand in some cases. You don't even see the snakes most of the time. It isn't recreation, it is learning.

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HU-885118952

Yikes. No thanks! I'll stay on the air boat.

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elvis

Me too, HU952. We drove across Alligator Alley back in the day and when we stopped to look around in the middle of nowhere, we were very watchful. We actually saw alligators lying right in the road, sunning themselves. Shudder. When I lived in Sarasota, we had a saying that if there was even a construction ditch with a couple feet of water in it, watch out for gators. And sometimes, it was true. Soulless creatures.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

There’s no blame to be placed here.

Despite our cozy lives, the world is still a wild place and those who venture out in it are simply another natural being at risk like all the others.

Glad she wasn’t seriously hurt of course and how fun and hair-raising to hear patriciae’s stories!

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Vada(10)

I do not know about that, miss lindsey. I think that I would rather to have my children to be cozy.

Patriciae_gw, how frightened you must have been to have this rattlesnake so close by! I think that I would faint right there in the place.

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HU-885118952

Driving along alligator alley, I was very glad to be in a car, Vada. I even remarked that I'd hate to break down along the road!

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

That’s understandable Vada.

My parenting style is totally opposite :-D

Ready or not, 18 is a legal adult and neither parents nor profs can dictate anymore. Advise, yes. Completely prevent reckless behaviour, not so much sadly.

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patriciae_gw(07)

I wasn't the least bit frightened because it was over before I knew and besides it might not have struck or hit my shoe or so on. More scary to me was I was out with a friend in a swamp on an old road looking for wild muscadine he said he had seen (as a line-man) and after a while I figured out he was maybe stringing me along for a reason and I started stamping my foot as I emphasized I didn't believe him and he convinced me to go a little further and I turned and started to step and right under my foot was one enormous Water Moccasin lying in a little stream of water-I rotated on one foot and moved quickly but it never moved. It was old and wise and couldn't eat me but if I had stepped on it? We were a long ways in. Never saw that wild muscadine. I was looking to collect. I loved it all. My Botany professor was a crazy man(why we were out there) but the TA's were amazing-equally versed in Herpetology and they looked after us. Alligators almost never ever bite people but they will eat your doggie and I know there are signs all over the Everglades that tell you so. We have moved into their world not they into ours. I was on the Mississippi coast and they were making a comeback at that time-protected.

As a note when we did field trips I kept to the second third as the safest place. the first people raise the varmint, which needs a moment to think and the last people catch the hell. I used to canoe the back swamps with another friend and discovered an undiscovered iridescent Myxomycete. I believe my Mycology professor named it after himself.

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ImWithJoe


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mudhouse

Patriciae, you (and Vada's thread) made me look up two words, and learn new things: Myxomycete, and Mycology.

I'm glad you survived those close calls!

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Vada(10)

Oh my, me too.

Zeus, that is very clever. Thank you.

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patriciae_gw(07)

My worst experience was getting a B in a graduate level Bryology (new word!) class when I had by far the highest grade and was an under grad. I was told I didn't need the A as much as the male grade students. I was the dangerous one there. I bite. Same loony professor as the Aquatic classes.

Anyway if you are going to compete in the field sciences you have to get dirty and get sulfur mud in places I cant mention on HT.

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Vada(10)

Patriciae_gw, I forgot to ask you this. You said up above "The worst was the sulfur mud, called hurricane mud as well, very fine and deep and when you stand up you can just sink if your feet aren't big enough. We came nigh to losing a tiny grad student. We had to leave her behind."

Did you ever see the tiny student again, or find out what happened to her in this sulfur mud?

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

Is this like quicksand? I always heard one should try to swim out rather than walk, however I don’t think I’ll experiment voluntarily :-D

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Vada(10)

I do not know, miss lindsey. I tried to look it up on the internet, but the Sulphur mud was for cosmetic use. I tried to look up the hurricane mud, but only found foot races in mud. Maybe it is quicksand with another name?

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patriciae_gw(07)

Along the coast you have tidal swamps that are a mix of salt and fresh water. They are deep soft fine mud that smells horrible and is a gluey yellow muck that is washed inward during Hurricanes-hence hurricane mud and the sulfur odor makes it sulfur mud. We were studying coastal grasses and came in on levees that were more or less solid. The student we came close to losing stepped down into the mud and started to sink like a straw in a milkshake. She was up to the tops of her thighs when a couple of the guys grabbed her and pulled her out of the mud. she lost both her shoes and we did not find them. A second attempt went the same so we had to leave her with the vehicles and collect for her. I kept close to a guy called Bruce with huge feet. I would hang on to his belt. When it was very wet we did lay down and semi swim. We did this for two days. Coastal grasses are really hard and I have forgetten it all but it was fun. In the grasses which could be eight ft or more huges webs with the biggest spiders you ever saw hanging in the center. One of the TAs was bitten and his hand swelled up like a ballon.

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mudhouse

I don't know about sulfur mud, but I found out that Bryology is the study of mosses. :-)

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mudhouse

Cross posted with you, Patriciae. Thank you for posting more about it, it's a lot more interesting (and exciting) than many things I remember studying, that's for sure.

Crazy about that young woman losing her shoes! But I'm relieved she was only left behind because she was shoeless, not because she was never recovered from the mud! (My imagination was running away with me, and I'm glad Vada asked.)

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lurker111

I check for gators in my pond before I take my paddle boat out. I found a 10ft+ snake skin in my garage a couple of weeks ago.

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Vada(10)

Lurker111, a 10 foot snake, that is a very big snake. Were you able to identify this snake by looking at this skin?

Patriciae_gw, thank you for letting us know that the tiny lady was not lost to the Sulphur mud. I did not think so, but? Now I know.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Lurker must be in southern Florida.

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