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10-year-old Florida girl pries open gator's mouth to free her leg

The gator was nearly 9 feet long
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Posted at 9:10 AM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 14:59:59-04

Alligator experts are calling it a "miracle" that a Florida girl was able to escape alive from an attack in Orlando this weekend.

The 10-year-old girl reportedly pried open an alligator's mouth to free her leg after the animal clamped down on her left knee, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).

The girl was swimming Saturday afternoon in a designated swim area of Lake Mary Jane, in water that was about two feet deep and 10 feet from shore, when an 8-foot-9-inch-long alligator bit her.

Officials say the girl was able to pry open the gator's mouth by sticking her fingers in the gators nose and pulling up to remove her leg. 

It's a technique the girl says she learned at the Orlando-area Gatorland park, reports ABC News.

She sustained several puncture wounds to the back of her knee and lower thigh, the state commission said.

She was treated by lifeguards, taken by family members to a children's hospital and has reportedly since been released.

Family members were standing about 30 feet from the shore when she was bitten, FWC officials said.

The alligator was caught and removed from the lake by a trapper.

Trappers tell ABC Action News it is breeding season, so gators may be especially active right now, including in the area around Moss Park in Orlando, which is flanked by two large lakes, Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane.

The Florida Wildlife Commission says on its website that some gators in the region can grow to be 14 feet long and weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

People who feel threatened by local "nuisance" alligators can get help through the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) in Florida. You can learn more about it by clicking HERE.