An 88-year-old man was bitten by an alligator Tuesday behind his Richmond-area home, the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office said.
It happened in the 6000 block of Sagamore Bay Lane, southwest of the Greatwood subdivision. The neighborhood is lined with canals and ponds and backs up to a large natural habitat, which is home to hundreds of gators.
K.R. Smith feeds the gators in the pond near his home on a regular basis, according to Texas Game Warden Barry Eversole.
He was clearing some weeds around the water when an 8-foot gator snapped at his hand.
“He called for me. I came out and he said he’d been bitten and needed to call an ambulance," daughter-in-law Shannon Smith said.
Smith was taken to Oak Bend Medical Center where he was treated and released. Fortunately, his injuries are minor.
Eversole said the gator probably associated Smith with food.
"They see the hand out and think, 'Let’s go get it,'" Eversole said.
Eversole warns you should never feed alligators -- or other wild animals -- because it causes them to lose their fear of humans. It's also a Class C misdemeanor to feed wild alligators, punishable by up to a $500 fine.