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Florida deputy shoots and kills a gator that chased a girl up a tree

Alligators like this one pictured in St. Petersburg are active in warm weather. On Friday, a girl floating on a raft in a creek in the Ocala Nationanl Forest was chased up a tree by a gator. A deputy shot the gator to death and the girl emerged from the tree uninjured. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
Alligators like this one pictured in St. Petersburg are active in warm weather. On Friday, a girl floating on a raft in a creek in the Ocala Nationanl Forest was chased up a tree by a gator. A deputy shot the gator to death and the girl emerged from the tree uninjured. [LARA CERRI | Times]
Published Jul. 2, 2018

A group of gators chased a 15-year-old Florida girl up a tree on Friday, prompting her mother to make a desperate 911 call.

"My daughter's stuck in a frickin' tree and there's gators surrounding her!" she said, according to report in the Orlando Sentinel. "Oh my God! Please hurry! Please hurry!"

To the rescue? A Lake County Sheriff's Office deputy, who shot one of the gators dead with a rifle.

The girl, Jordan Broderick, of Titusville, was not injured, but had to remain in the tree for about an hour before the gator was killed, according to published reports.

According to this report from News 6 in Orlando, the girl was floating on a raft in a body of water called Freak Creek in the Ocala National Forest when she saw at least one gator approach.

She climbed a tree at a nearby boat landing to escape the gator, but it stayed under the tree and hissed at her for about a half-hour.

It became apparent to the girl's family that the gator was not going to go away so 911 was called. Other gators also were in the area.

"She got in the tree to get out of the water, there's gators on land and in the water," the girl's mother told 911, according to the News 6 report.

A deputy soon arrived and considered calling in a marine unit, but the girl was tired from hanging on to the tree, according to News 6, so the deputy went into action.

The television station report noted that the gator "began to advance" on the deputy as he approached. He fired one round from his weapon and the gator was dead.

The incident comes less than a month after a woman walking her two dogs in Plantation was attacked by a gator and killed.

Florida wildlife officials have said that gator attacks on humans are rare, but that people should always be cautious whenever around bodies of water in which gators may be near -- particularly if accompanied by pets or young children.