A Hillsborough County, Florida, horse is receiving veterinary care after being bitten by an alligator.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon said deputies responded to a call from an owner reporting that her horse had been bitten by an alligator in the animal’s pasture on May 28. At the scene, deputies found a 6-foot alligator in the pasture and confirmed that the horse had sustained a bite wound to one of his legs, he said.
A licensed trapper was called to the scene to remove the alligator.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission spokesman Gary Morse such incidents are rare. When they do occur, the alligator is likely defending itself, Morse said.
“This incident happened in the evening and alligators are most active this time of year between dusk and dawn,” Mores said. “What probably happened is that the horse and the alligator bumped into each other and frightened one another.”
Morse also said that a foal in the pasture at the time of the incident was unharmed.
“An alligator this size is not going to eat a foal,” he said. “Alligators usually feed on birds, fish, and small rodents.”
The horse is expected to recover.