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Sarasota man seriously hurt after being bitten by alligator in Myakka City, FWC says

The man is being treated for serious injuries to his arm. A nuisance alligator trapper was called to the area.

MYAKKA CITY, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.

A Sarasota man is being treated at the hospital after an alligator bit him in Myakka City, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said. 

It happened around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The FWC, along with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and Manatee County EMS, was called to the scene after 43-year-old Eric Merda of Sarasota was reportedly bitten by an alligator near Lake Manatee Fish Camp. 

Merda was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries to his arm. 

Following the reported bite, a nuisance alligator trapper was called to the area. Trapping efforts continue, but no alligators have been removed, a spokesperson for FWC said.

Merda was flown to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and appears to be recovering there at this time, a spokesperson said. 

FWC states it is continuing to investigate what happened but initial information indicates Merda was in the water and swimming at the time of the bite.

Last week, an 80-year-old woman who fell into a pond at a country club in Englewood was killed by two alligators, a Sarasota County medical examiner confirmed. Those alligators were humanely euthanized. 

Back in June, a man in Sarasota County was bitten late at night by an alligator he mistook for a dog, authorities said. 

Wildlife experts are reminding people about how to safely deal with alligators if they are nearby.

"If you're going to interact in any type of water system in Florida, if you don't see any alligators, be very wary. Just because you don't see him doesn't mean he doesn't see you," said Flavio Morrissiey with Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Morrissiey said people need to educate themselves and to be extremely careful around ponds.

"They're really sneaky and they're all around the edges," he said. "Most of the time they're not necessarily in the middle of the lake, they are going to be near the edges and that's where they can do damage. So be cautious around the edge of a lake."

If you're concerned about an alligator, you can call the FWC's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286. 

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