Florida woman bumps hissing alligator away with paddle


SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman who was floating on a paddleboard in the Silver River used her paddle to push away a large alligator that swam directly toward her in a frightful, up-close encounter captured in startling videos and photographs.

The alligator came within inches of Vicki Baker, 60, of Ocala, on Sept. 8. She estimated the reptile to be nearly as long as her 10-foot (3-meter) paddleboard. It hissed loudly at her. She said at one point it opened its mouth, revealing large teeth and its powerful jaw as it floated on the surface.

“What are you doing? Get away from me! Get away from me!” Baker yelled at the alligator as it swam inches from her paddleboard. “No! Oh, my God, I had to push him away with my paddle!”

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