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Gator attacks diver at Florida nature park

June 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An alligator attacked a diver working at a Florida nature park as the man was snorkeling and taking water samples.The 11-and-a-half foot, 550-pound gator left the victim, 55-year-old researcher Pete Butte, with injuries to his head and neck.

The attack happened in a restricted area of Silver Springs Nature Park.

"A wild alligator came out from underneath one of the older service vessels," said Eric Hutchinson, Butte's co-worker.

"Pete did not absolutely see it," Hutchinson said. "It grabbed him by the neck and shoulder. Pete is a very large man. He obviously fought his way out of it and survived.''

The gator was later captured and put down.

The injured diver remains in serious condition.