A Florida man nearly lost one of his legs early Wednesday morning when he mistook an alligator for a dog.
The incident occurred at about 12:30 a.m. when the unidentified Sarasota resident was taking a walk outside the Warm Mineral Springs Motel in North Port. Although he spotted the gator at the end of a dark trail he was on, the man kept walking toward it because he thought it was a harmless pooch, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. "He stated the figure appeared to look like a dog with a long leash, which is why he was hesitant to move out of the way," a sheriff's spokesman says.
As he approached the large reptile, it attacked, chomping down on the man's right leg and "ripping off a chunk of his muscle," per sheriff's officials. He's now being treated at a local hospital. The gator has been removed from the area, the sheriff's office reports.
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