BRANDON, MISS. (AP) — A man was injured during an encounter with an alligator near a Mississippi waterfront park where several other alligators have been removed this month, according to wildlife officials.
The man was swimming with a group in the Ross Barnett Reservoir at Lakeshore Park on Friday when an alligator was spotted nearby, according to Ricky Flynt, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ alligator program coordinator.
The group left the water, but later got back in after the alligator disappeared, Flynt said. The official said the alligator was likely waiting under a pier and swam between the man’s legs when he reentered the water.
“The alligator got a little tangled up and scratched his leg trying to get out,” The Clarion Ledger quoted Flynt as saying.
The man suffered three scratches and Wildlife Department employees returned to the area that night and captured and euthanized the alligator.
Flynt said there had been reports people were trying to feed alligators in the area, and the animal involved in the Friday incident showed behavior “consistent with an alligator that’s been fed.”
Three other alligators, including one that was 9 feet long, have been removed from nearby waters in recent weeks, according to Flynt.
The swimming area is in Brandon, about 14 miles from Jackson.