[UPDATE] Alligator Attacks Tallahassee Teen; Experts Give Advice on Safety

By: Garin Flowers Email
By: Garin Flowers Email

UPDATED - July 9, 2012

What would you do if you came nose to nose with a ten foot alligator?

That's what 15-year-old Kaleb Towles was faced with last Thursday.

"The alligator came from my left and bit me across my chest," Towles said.

The gator released its bite and Towles was able to escape.

His family later killed the gator and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission picked it up.

"I'm glad I'm not dead or didn't lose a limb," he added.

We met with Jake Hines from Wakulla Springs State Park. He gives tours in the wild where you can find gators, small and large.

"Definitely always be aware of your surroundings and the less people are in your group, the more you need to be aware," Hines said.

"Not sure exactly of how you would stop an attacking alligator but I'd try anything that came to mind."

The FWC provides details on safety around gators. They say don't swim outside of posted swim areas or in waters that might be inhabited by large alligators.

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What started off as a normal trip to Keaton Beach with his family, almost turned into a deadly encounter.

15-year-old Kaleb Towles was with his grandfather spearfishing. He was swimming in water three feet deep when the gator attacked him.

"I'm glad I'm not dead or didn't lose a limb," Towles said.

"The alligator came from my left and bit me across my chest."

Kaleb immediately yelled at his grandfather for help.

"He started screaming papa, there's a shark, a shark, but it wasn't a shark, it was a gator, a ten-foot gator," said Billy Ezell, Kaleb's grandfather.

Luckily, the gator let him go after he started to fight back. His grandfather then tried to run it off with the boat. But, that's not where the story ends.

"We went around the creek looking for him and we saw him on the bottom to see how big he was and then we got some guns and killed him," Towles said.

Then they called the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission to file a report.

Towles has advice for anyone who may fall into a similar situation.

"Be more safe I guess, keep an eye out."

"He could've been killed just as easily as he wasn't," Ezell added.


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