NORTH PORT, Fla. — A man was bitten by an alligator he mistook for a dog early Tuesday morning in Sarasota County, authorities say.
Deputies were dispatched around 12:30 a.m. to the Warm Mineral Springs Motel on South Tamiami Trail in North Port.
Investigators say the man told them he was walking outside the motel overnight when he spotted a dark figure moving along the bushes on the shell path.
"He stated the figure appeared to look like a dog with a long leash, which is why he wasn't hesitant to move out of the way," a sheriff's office spokesperson wrote in an email.
That's when deputies say the alligator bit his right leg, ripping off a chunk of his muscle as he tried to get away. Luckily, he was able to flag down one deputy who was already in the area on an unrelated call. That deputy called for paramedics.
The man was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Venice.
Sgt. James Achille managed to capture the gator before the licensed trapper arrived. The trapper then removed the reptile from the area.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also responded to the scene.