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from the Sun-Sentinel

    Woman injured by gator in lake at nudist camp

Associated Press Posted June 27 2001

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. -- A woman suffered serious ankle and arm injuries in an alligator attack Wednesday while swimming in a lake at a nudist resort.

Dagmar Dow, 43, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital in serious but stable condition and underwent surgery, hospital spokeswoman Ellen Fiss said. Dow was upgraded to fair condition after the surgery, a nursing supervisor who declined to give her name said late Wednesday.

The gator twice attacked Dow, a resident of Lake Como nudist resort, and both times she was pulled to safety by her husband, Ray, Pasco County Sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers said.


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The woman was 10 to 15 yards offshore in waist-deep water, practicing floating for an upcoming scuba diving certification test, when the alligator attacked from beneath and pulled her underwater.

Ray Dow jumped in and pulled his wife free, but the gator grabbed her a second time. ``The husband just kept kicking the gator in the face until he let go,'' Powers said.

Dow pulled his bleeding wife ashore and called paramedics.

The injuries were not believed to be life threatening, Powers said.

The attack occurred shortly before 3 p.m. in the 35-acre lake at the resort, said Sabrina Vizzari, manager of the nudist camp about 25 miles north of Tampa.

Witnesses told deputies the alligator was at least 7 feet long. They say there are several alligators in the lake but they have not been bothersome.

``The resort has been here 60 years and we've never had anything like this happen before,'' Vizzari said.

She said wildlife officers recently had been trying without success to trap a gator.

Powers said the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission, which has jurisdiction to catch and remove aggressive gators, went to the lake with a trapper.

Land O' Lakes is 20 miles north of Tampa.

The attack comes on the heels of a fatal alligator attack over the weekend in Winter Haven, 60 miles to the southeast.

A 2-year-old girl was killed by an alligator after she wandered from her backyard to the shores of Lake Cannon late Saturday afternoon.

A medical examiner said Alexandria Murphy was drowned by the gator. She had bites on both arms and her right thigh and a broken left arm. Her body was found by a Polk County Sheriff's deputy on the lake shore near the alligator.

A 6½-foot gator was trapped and killed.

Alexandria was the eleventh person killed in a Florida alligator attack in the last 50 years, including a 71-year-old Sarasota man killed last month.

Copyright © 2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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