Florida woman fights off large alligator while paddleboarding in terrifying video


  • Photo via Facebook/Vicky Reamy Baker

A woman paddleboarding in Ocala over Labor Day weekend had an extremely close encounter with a giant alligator.

In multiple videos and photos posted to her Facebook page, Vicki Reamy Baker can be seen fending off a large alligator at Silver Springs State Park. “Why are you messing with me? Why are you trying to bite me?” asks Baker in one of the videos. “Someone’s been feeding that gator, makes them very dangerous.”

At one point in a video, the gator can be seen hissing at Baker, after she nudged it with her paddle. A man can then be heard on a loudspeaker telling Baker to get away from the gator. “Ma'am, I would suggest backing up after you just made him pretty mad.”

Baker also mentioned that the gator tried to bite her paddleboard. “Oh my god, I had to push him away with my paddle,” she added.

While certainly scary, alligator attacks are rare.

Data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows that in 2020, a total of 12 alligator attacks occurred, with an average of seven unprovoked bites per year over the last 10 years.

It’s unclear exactly why this gator approached Baker, but the likelihood of someone being seriously injured from an unprovoked alligator incident is about one in 3.1 million.

This post originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.