A bloke has lost a chunk of his leg after mistaking a deadly alligator for a dog which he thought was attached to a lead.
The 49-year-old was attacked by the seven-foot gator while walking through the gardens of the Warm Mineral Springs Motel in North Port, Florida in the middle of the night.
Police claim that the bizarre incident occurred after the bloke didn't recognise the alligator, instead believing it to be a dog attached to a long leash.
Because the bloke failed to realise it was in fact a huge gator, he remained in place as the deadly reptile raced toward him.
Cops claim the unnamed man had spotted a shadowy figure in the bushes but believed it to be a dog on a long lead, with officers saying this was the reason he did not immediately flee.
The man was taken to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Venice, Florida, where he was treated and has since been released.
Officers say that the alligator had torn at the bloke's leg and "pulled his muscle/tissue" in a terrifying attack that has since seen the gator removed from its place at the motel.
Experts from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say that the large reptile has since been moved.
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Deputies working at the Sarasota County Sheriff's office say that one deputy on duty had been in the area already while answering a separate call.
They responded to the scene, where he found the man who had encountered the massive reptile, The Sun reported.
While waiting for a trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, another deputy was on hand to capture the gator, which was eventually removed from the area, New York Post reported.
The 49-year-old's nasty encounter in the middle of the night came after he believed the gator was a dog with a long lead.
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