MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A woman paddleboarding at a Florida spring recorded a close encounter with an alligator after she says it tried biting her board.
The video getting a lot of attention on social media shows a gator floating by her paddleboard in Silver Springs State Park in Marion County.
“He came after me and tried to bite my paddleboard,” Vicki Baker said in the video.
Baker said in the video she thinks someone has been feeding the gator because of how close it was to people, making it “very dangerous.”
“This gator comes out of nowhere and it comes in between the two kayaks and straight for my paddleboard and then he opened his mouth and almost bit my paddleboard,” Baker told News 6 in Orlando.
Since posting the pictures and videos of the encounter online, Baker’s encounter has been shared almost 8,000 times.
“I panicked. If you listen to my voice, it was very shaky. I know people think I was really calm but I wasn’t,” Baker said. “I had to get it away from me. I didn’t have a choice you know, it was this close to me. I didn’t have a choice. I was defending myself and I didn’t smack it on the head I didn’t try to hurt it I just wanted it to go away.”
According to the state park’s website, “the river is home to alligators, turtles, manatees and many species of fish.”
Florida is home to over 1 million alligators. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission urges people to keep their distance if they see an alligator.
Baker said she immediately showed the video to a park ranger.
“I showed them the video and I said, ‘I’m scared the gator is going to hurt somebody’ and they said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We will take care of it,’” Baker said.
To report a nuisance gator, click on this link here.