ORLANDO, FLORIDA — A 10-year-old girl survived an alligator attack by prying open the reptile’s jaws with her bare hands, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said.
Juliana Ossa was with her family at Lake Mary Jane near Orlando on Saturday, May 6. She was sitting in two-feet deep water in a designated swim area, when an alligator surfaced and chomped on her knee and calf, ABC affiliate WFTV reported.
Remembering a trick she learned while visiting Gatorland, a theme park and wildlife reserve, Ossa poked the gator in its nostrils, then she pried the gator’s jaws open with her bare hands to free her leg.
Ossa was later taken to Nemours Children’s Hospital with non life-threatening puncture wounds. She needed at least 10 stitches.
The alligator was estimated to be 8 feet, 9 inches long. After the attack, it was spotted in the same swimming area and was captured by the Florida Fish and Wildlife officials.
“To get an animal with the strongest bite on the planet to let go of you is a miracle,” Gatorland representative Donald Aldarelli told WFTV. “I’m just happy that she heard it here.”