from VNY (UPI Report)


Animal Attack

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    Teen Survives Gator Attack

Wednesday, 12 July 2000 18:07 (ET)

PUNTA GORDA, Fla., July 12 (UPI) -- A 14-year-old Punta Gorda, Fla., boy is recovering Wednesday after prying himself loose from a hungry alligator.

It took 14 stitches to close Daniel Denslinger's wounds.

The teenager was swimming with two friends in Preacher's Lake in the Southwest Florida town Tuesday night when the 9-foot, 5-inch-long, 300 pound reptile bit him in both legs and pulled him under water.

Denslinger, who is 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs 220 pounds, managed to pry the gator's jaws open and escape. He was treated and released at Charlotte Regional Medical Center.

Emergency workers said had the alligator been larger or the teen smaller, the boy would probably not have survived the attack. The gator was removed from the lake by trappers and destroyed because it was considered dangerous to humans.

Gators normally pull their prey under water and drown it before consuming it. A Florida Wildlife Commission spokesman said gators are opportunists, so when they see splashing, they figure it could be food and go after it. --

Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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