10-foot alligator attacks 1,050-pound horse in Pasco County

The horse was in a pond on a pasture

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A 10-foot alligator attacked a horse in Pasco County last week.

State wildlife trappers are using bait to try and catch the gator. 

Mike Santo, the horse's owner, said the gator took a gash out of his horse's leg. 

The attack happened on a pasture in New Port Richey. The horse was cooling off in a pond.

"There's turtles, bass, birds, rabbits, otter, there's plenty for an alligator to eat and he picked a horse," said Mike Santos. 

Crown, a former racehorse turned rodeo, now needs 35 pills in the morning, 35 more at night.

"Infection, fighting infection so that's going to be our biggest thing. I can tell it's aggravating him," said  Santo. 

Santo said veterinarians from Brandon Equine Medical Center came out to the pasture to look at the horse. They treated the wounds and bite marks and placed him on antibiotics to prevent infection.

State wildlife officials posted on Twitter saying FWC plans to issue an additional 1,313 county-wide alligator permits starting next week. A state-wide hunt helps control the gator population.

Santo said he believes someone was feeding the gator that attacked his 1,050-pound horse.

"When this alligator sees you, it will come to you instead of going away from you," said Santo.

Santo said his horse is expected to make a full recovery. Medical bills could cost nearly $10,000. 

"He's got a heart like a watermelon. I mean, he's a really good horse," said Santo. 

Santo said they've had Crown for 18 years. 

For more information on Santo's GoFundMe page, click here.

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