A bicyclist was attacked by an alligator in Florida on Monday after an accident sent him into the water, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said.
The cyclist suffered serious injuries after the alligator, about 9 feet long, grabbed him after he fell down an embankment around 11 a.m. in Halpatiokee Regional Park, the office said.
The park is near Florida’s eastern coast south of Port St. Lucie.
The bicyclist is an experienced rider who lost control on a curve, Scott Lorraine with the Airborne Mountain Bike Club told NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach.
“He went right into the water, and then just as bad luck would be, the gator was right there,” Lorraine, who came upon the scene, told the station.
The injured bicyclist was taken by medical helicopter to a hospital, the sheriff’s office said.
The alligator was captured by a trapper. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that it’s rare for an alligator to cause serious injuries in the state.
A trapper at the scene told WPTV that the animal will be relocated, and its behavior indicates it has a nest nearby.
There are around seven unprovoked alligator attacks in Florida each year that are serious enough to require professional medical treatment, according to the fish and wildlife commission.
Twenty-five people have died from alligator attacks in the state from 1948 to 2019, it has said.