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DEPUTY SHOOTS WHEN ALLIGATOR BITES TRAPPER

Published May 12, 2011

PALM RIVER

A Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy shot an 8-foot alligator that bit the leg of a trapper Wednesday evening. Someone reported an alligator in the roadway at U.S. 301 S and Palm River Road just after 7:30 p.m., the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. John Wilson, a professional trapper, was in the process of capturing the reptile when it bit into his ankle and wouldn't let go, said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In fear for the trapper's life, a deputy shot the gator, and the reptile released the trapper. Hillsborough Fire Rescue took Wilson to Brandon Regional Hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening. The gator died. "This is uncommon. These guys are generally pretty good at trapping alligators. They're experts, but even experts can get bit sometimes," Morse said.