Dec. 6 2018 12:00 AM

The man was attacked while trying to shoo birds away.


An 85-year-old Lakeland, Florida man is recovering after being attacked by an alligator. Luckily, a landscaper who was working nearby came to his rescue, according to a story by Tim Wronka, posted on the Spectrum 9 News website.

Edward Donnelly hadn’t planned on becoming a hero when he went to work a few days ago. He just happened to be working at a home near the Cypress Lakes retirement community where the man lived, when he heard the man’s screams and ran over to help.

Donnelly said the man was near a pond trying to chase birds off his property. "He said the birds were making a mess in his backyard," Donnelly was reported as saying. "Then the next thing he knew, he saw something come up and bite him, and was trying to pull him down.”

The landscaper used a towel to help stop the bleeding as they waited for help to arrive. "He was laying up on the edge of the woods,” Donnelly told Wronka. “His foot was pretty gruesome.”

Residents near the Cypress Lakes retirement community say that seeing alligators in small ponds is very common, but the gators don't ever attack.

"A gator attack is rare,” says Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Public Information Officer Ashley Tyer, according to the story. The Commission hired a trapper to remove the alligator, which measured nine feet, nine inches long. “In these instances, we do take an abundance of caution and remove the alligator."

The victim was rushed to the hospital. Donnelly says the man was in incredible pain but hopes he was able to help keep him alive.

No further information on his condition has been released.

Despite his quick actions, Donnelly does not consider himself a hero. "I would hope anyone else would help,” he told the reporter. “I just reacted. I didn’t really think about it.”

The FWC continues to investigate the incident.