A cyclist was attacked by an alligator in Florida on Monday after an accident sent him into the water, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said.
The cyclist was seriously injured after the alligator, about 9 feet long, grabbed him after he fell off an embankment around 11 a.m. in Halpatiokee Regional Park, the office said.
The park is located near the east coast of Florida, south of Port St. Lucie.
The rider is an experienced rider who has lost control in a curve, Scott Lorraine of the Airborne Mountain Bike Club told NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach.
“He went straight into the water, and just as bad luck would be, the alligator was right there,” said Lorraine, who arrived at the scene, at the station.
The injured cyclist was taken by medical helicopter to a hospital, the sheriff’s office said.
The alligator was captured by a trapper. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it’s rare for an alligator to cause serious injury in the state.
A trapper at the scene told WPTV the animal would be moved and its behavior indicates it has a nest nearby.
There are about seven unprovoked alligator attacks in Florida each year that are severe enough to require professional medical treatment, according to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Twenty-five people died from alligator attacks in the state from 1948 to 2019, he said.