Florida 10-year-old pokes alligator’s nose, pries open its mouth to escape attack

ORLANDO, Fla. — A 10-year-old girl is recovering after she used a smart trick to fight off an alligator who attacked her at a Florida park on Saturday.

The girl was sitting in 2 feet of water in a designated swim area in Lake Mary Jane at Lake Moss Park when a 8-to-9-foot alligator attacked her, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials told WFTV.

To fight off the gator, the girl started poking it in the nose and then pried the gator’s mouth open to remove her leg, she told officials.

Her father said she learned the trick at Gatorland, a theme park and wildlife preserve in Orlando, Fla.

“To get an animal with the strongest bite on the planet to let go of you is a miracle,” Gatorland spokesman Donald Aldarelli told WFTV. “I’m just happy that she heard it here.”

The girl was transported to a hospital where she received at least 10 stitches, her father told WFTV. She is recovering at home.

The alligator was captured and euthanized after the attack, officials told WFTV. Officials have also closed the waterfront as a precaution.