An experienced bicyclist's fall in Florida on Monday could have killed him, but not the for reason you might think. TCPalm reports the cyclist lost control while navigating a wooden bridge and tumbled into a small body of water some 6 feet down an embankment, where he was then attacked by an alligator. (WPTV's report says the rider lost a tire while navigating a curve). The incident happened around 11am about a mile into Halpatiokee Regional Park, which is about 30 miles north of West Palm Beach. ABC News reports the man landed near a female alligator who was herself near her nest, per the Martin County Sheriff's Office. A Fire Rescue official says the unnamed man suffered "traumatic" injuries and was airlifted to a medical center in Fort Pierce.
Witness Charlie Shannon tells WPTV the man "had a lot of marks all over his leg, but mainly in the upper thigh" and was "hanging on roots like five feet below." Bystanders managed to pull the man up, and Shannon created a makeshift tourniquet out of his dog leash. An 8-plus-foot female alligator weighing an estimated 170 pounds was captured Monday by a trapper who will return Tuesday to look for her eggs; all will be relocated. The trapper says it's a more dangerous time of year to encounter females near water, as they are "sitting on nests and are particularly aggressive." The Miami Herald notes that "Halpatiokee" is a Seminole Indian word that translates as "Alligator Water." (Read more alligator stories.)