PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida woman has always lived near the Everglades because she enjoys the proximity of the wildlife in the area, but a recent encounter with an alligator left her bloody and bruised.

For Gwen Cash, she thinks gators are beautiful creatures and respects their space. But on New Year’s Eve, Cash said she had a run-in with the reptile as she was trying to protect her dog.

“Within five minutes, we weren’t here that long, and he was right there, I go, ‘Wow,’ I scan the whole lake and that quick, he was right there,” she said. “He kind of turned like as if he was going for my dog’s throat. I tried putting my arm around my dog’s chest and that’s how I got scratched. I’m glad he didn’t close his mouth.”

Cash said she was able to get her rottweiler Maximus back inside the house despite the attack.

“When you start feeding them, they look at you and they think of food and that’s the only thing I can think of as to why he came straight up,” she said. “Either that or he wants to get my dog.”

Cash said she is in contact with a trapper to hopefully get the gator relocated as she worries about herself, her dog, and the families that live along Holly Lake.

“Hey, if not my dog, someone’s little kid could be playing,” said Cash.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it is never a good idea to feed wildlife, especially gators as that is how they get comfortable around humans.

If you have a gator in your neighborhood that is getting too comfortable, you can call the FWC’s alligator nuisance hotline

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