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Woman injured in collision with alligator gar at Corpus Christi Lake

MATHIS, Texas — On Monday morning, Joanne Garcia was getting ready to celebrate July 4th. Garcia and her sister-in-law were in the shallow waters of Corpus Christi Lake, off Sunrise Beach, setting up an awning, when Garcia felt something pinch her foot.

“It was immediately sore, there wasn’t a little lump, it was just tight, and as I shook my foot I think that’s where more damage was done,” he said. she declared.

Garcia says an alligator guy bit her.

“I started kicking, and [my sister-in-law] didn’t know what it was, but she also started kicking,” Garcia said. “She saw the body come out of the water and swim, but it grabbed my foot and ripped it off pretty well.”

Garcia’s sister-in-law estimated the alligator gar to be about 2-3 feet long, but grabbed his foot on the back of his ankle and sole.

“It’s almost 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, from what I understand, and it hurts,” she said.

Gar-alligator biting people is rare, especially in Coastal Bend.

“I haven’t heard of any such cases locally,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden Lerrin Johnson. “But, talking to other guards who have worked in East Texas, where we have higher gar populations, they have heard of cases where people are getting nibbled on by gar alligators on their fingers or on their toes, where the gar is mistaken for little fish.”

Garcia thinks the fish was lying in the water and she approached its snout. Johnson thinks the animal mistook Garcia’s foot for a smaller fish, or that she surprised him.

“It’s probably one of two things; either a dinner party or a fear reaction,” Johnson said.

Garcia said she didn’t blame the animal for biting her and the injuries on her foot weren’t too serious. She said she cleaned the wound and treated it with antibiotics.

However, while his friends and family enjoyed their July 4 festivities, Garcia rested.

“I was inside the rest of the day, whatever they were doing, they were having fun, they were boating, they were having fun, but I was chilling inside,” he said. she declared.


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