(CNN) — A Florida man was bitten in the leg by an unexpected visitor: an alligator waiting just outside his door.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told CNN in an email that they received a call about the bite on Saturday, March 4. The 56-year-old man was injured by a bite to the thigh, according to the commission. They sent an alligator hunter to remove the reptile from the area.
CNN affiliate WKMG reported that Daytona Beach resident Scot Hollingsworth was watching television when he heard a knock on his door.
“I jumped up, walked over and opened the door, got out while trying to reach the lights and just barely got out the door and he grabbed my leg and started waving very violently,” he said, according to WKMG.
He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to the 9-foot alligator.
“I suspect that I surprised the alligator as much as he surprised me,” Hollingsworth said.
The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told CNN that people should keep a safe distance from alligators at all times. You should also keep pets on a leash, swim only in designated areas during the day, and never feed an alligator.
The commission also explains on its website that Floridians can expect to see more alligators than usual as the weather warms up. Reptiles are also most active between dusk and dawn.
Florida is home to a total of about 1.3 million alligators, according to the commission’s website. The agency routinely culls so-called “nuisance” alligators, which are 4 feet (1.2 meters) long or larger and pose a threat to people or wildlife. The commission says that relocated alligators will generally attempt to return to the site where they were captured and continue to create problems, so they should be euthanized or rehomed to zoos or wildlife rescues.