Florida paddleboarder fends off attacking alligator with oar


In this Sept. 8, 2021, photo provided by Vicki Baker, an alligator is shown on the Silver River in Silver Springs, Fla. The alligator came within inches of Baker, 60, of Ocala, Fla., who said the reptile hissed loudly at her and estimated it to be nearly as long as her 10-foot paddleboard. Baker said at one point it opened its mouth, revealing large teeth and its powerful jaw as it floated on the surface. (Vicki Baker via AP)

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida paddleboarder used an oar to push away a large alligator that swam directly toward her in a frightful, up-close encounter captured in startling videos and photographs.

The gator came within inches of 60-year-old Vicki Baker last week.

She says the reptile was almost as long as her 10-foot paddleboard. It hissed loudly at her, opening its mouth to reveal large teeth. She yelled for it to getaway.

A Silver Springs State Park ranger used a speaker to advise her to back away from the gator.

More than 1 million people have seen photos and videos of the encounter, so far.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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