7-Year-Old Bitten by a Gator at Indiana Zao Island Amusement Park

07/14/2011 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Valparaiso, IN — A 7-year-old boy was bit by an alligator after another visitor of the theme park fished the gator out of his habitat and invited children to come pet it. The boy was bitten on Sunday evening, July 10, 2011, at Zao Island family entertainment center and amusement park at around 6:45 p.m., reported by CBS Chicago.

According to officials, the alligators at the indoor-outdoor amusement park are kept in an outdoor pound, which is enclosed with a fence along U.S. Route 30.

The park allows visitors to feel the alligators with hot dog chunks that are strung on the end of poles provided to the visitors by the park.

The man reportedly made a noose out of the string and used it to pull the alligator out of its habitat. The man then invited the nearby children to come over and pet the reptile.

Ryan Strand, 7, of Concord, N.C., was bitten while petting the gator, which prompted the man, his wife and four kids to flee the scene and get into a dark-colored extended cab pickup truck and drive away.

Strand was treated at the scene by emergency medical services and was transported to an area hospital for further treatment of injuries on his right index finger.

An employee of Zao Island was able to identify the woman with the man as a 24-year-old Portage, Ind. resident. When police spoke with the woman she was uncooperative and wouldn’t reveal the man’s name.

Investigations are underway.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Indiana personal injury lawyers.

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