When someone receives a knock on their door, they may expect a loved one or a pleasant stranger, but no one ever expects a vicious beast like an alligator at the foot of their door, even if you are a Floridian native. Scott Hollingsworth of Daytona Beach, Florida, would agree as he didn’t expect to be greeted by this unwanted guest. On March 4th, Scott was enjoying a fine weekend; watching television with his wife when all of a sudden, he heard a “slight knock on the door”, according to the DailyMail.
He told WKMG News 6, “All the sudden we heard a bump… (unintelligible) or what, we heard a bump over there”, He continued: “I jumped up, headed over, and opened the door, um… stepped out, I was trying to reach for the lights and barely getting out the door and,… um…Got my leg clamped on, and started shaking really violently.” He told the local news station that it was really dark outside and that he couldn’t make out what he was seeing; he had thought it was some kind of large dog but it turned out to be a “nine-foot alligator” instead, according to WKMG News 6.
Unfortunately, this beast wasn’t a friendly one, as it attacked him by immediately biting his upper thigh to be more exact. Scott told WKMG News 6, that “It was a total surprise and shock…”. He told the local news station, that it happened “quickly”, that he’s used to seeing alligators “out behind his house” and that it’s a normal thing to see these creatures. However, he went on to explain that although he would occasionally see them lounging around; they would always keep their distance from humans and obviously, humans would keep their distance from them.
This nutty tale, fortunately, had a happy ending as Scot not only survived but was also, according to WKMG News 6, “thankful his injuries weren’t any worse.” He told WKMG News 6, “I suspect I surprised the alligator as much as.. uh, he surprised me.” Scot is expected to “make a full recovery” and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured the alligator that attacked him; euthanizing it, according to The Guardian.
Sadly, alligator attacks are not uncommon in Florida; an eighty-five-year-old woman who had happened to be walking her dog was killed recently in Southeast Florida by the alligator she was defending her dog, according to The Guardian. Scott was extremely fortunate as alligator attacks “are on the rise” and are “increasing from an average of just one every three years between 1988 and 1999 to about seven per year between 2000 and 2016”, according to The Florida Times – Union and Inside Science. Apparently, Scott and the eighty-five-year-old woman respectively, weren’t the only ones who experienced these horrendous attacks.
One might ask themselves, why are these creatures and Floridians feuding so much? And the answer to that question is in reality quite simple; after a series of studies Inside Science has come to the most plausible and scientifically backed conclusion that “human population size” is a huge factor in the human-alligator conflict. Everyone loves Florida for their gorgeous resorts and lovely weather, but one would be wise to stay alert and keep their distance if they were to run into these critters.