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Florida man confuses alligator for dog, gets bitten: police

A Florida man was bitten by an alligator after confusing the beast for a dog early Tuesday morning.

Cops said the 49-year-old man was walking outside the Warm Mineral Springs Motel in North Port shortly after midnight, local ABC affiliate WFTS reported.

The man told police he thought the 7-foot-1 gator was a dog on a particularly long leash, according to WFTS. So he didn’t move away until it lunged and took a chunk of muscle out of his leg.

A county sheriff’s deputy was already in the area and quickly called in first responders, local NBC affiliate WFLA reported. The man was taken Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Venice, about 60 miles south of Tampa and just west of North Port. He is expected to be OK, the motel owner told local CBS affiliate WTSP.

The Sarasota County sheriff’s office said a deputy was able to wrangle the gator before a licensed trapper even arrived, according to WFLA. The gator was taken to another location, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission launched an investigation.

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