On Wednesday, a local Florida woman posted footage of herself paddleboarding when she had a terrifying encounter with an alligator.
An aggressive alligator gave chase to Vicki Reamy Baker and her paddleboard earlier this week. While out enjoying the day on the water, she came across the large and seemingly curious reptile. Thankfully, she didn’t get attacked, but the encounter was a little too close for comfort.
After escaping without injury, she later shared multiple videos and pictures of the scary experience to her Facebook page. In the videos, Baker is calm at first as she talks to the alligator. Then it approaches her paddleboard once again and swims right beside her as she gets a bit more frantic.
“Why are you messing with me?” Baker asks the alligator. “Why are you trying to bite me? What the heck, man! I’ve never had a gator come at me like that before.”
“Look how close he is to me. He tried to bite me and my paddleboard,” Baker exclaimed to someone off-camera.
As the alligator swims away, Baker says she thinks someone has “been feeding that gator, it makes him very dangerous.”
In the next clip, Baker is clearly getting worried as the alligator approaches her once again. The large predator is seen swimming so close to Baker that she pushes the animal away with her paddle.
“What are you doing?! Get away from me. Get away from me!” Baker yelled as the alligator came within inches of her paddleboard.
‘Oh, s–t! No. Go away! Oh my god. I had to push him away with my paddle!’ she exclaimed as the alligator hissed after she pushed the animal away.
As of Friday, Baker’s Facebook video has been viewed more than 300,000 times.
Florida Sees Rise in Alligator Attacks Due to Increase in Human Population
As most Americans know, the Sunshine State is the epicenter for alligator sightings across the nation. In fact, statistics show that there’s one gator for every 15 residents in Florida.
The state began recording bite statistics in 1948, and since then, Florida has averaged about three bites annually. While many citizens are rightfully frightened by the animals, serious attacks are rare. According to Enjuris, humans have a one in 3.2 million chance of getting attacked by a gator.
There has been an increase in attacks in recent years. But experts say that’s mainly due to an increase in Florida’s human population. The alligator population has stayed around 1.3 million for years, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The commission also reported that there are 413 documented bites in the state since 1948. But only 25 of them have been fatal. In the last decade, Florida has averaged around seven unprovoked bites per year that need serious medical treatment.