Teen Scrambles Into Tree to Escape 9-Foot Alligator

Playing 15-Year-Old Climbs Tree in Florida to Escape Alligator

A terrified 15-year-old girl clung to a tree over a Florida lake as an alligator hissed below, the teen's mother said in a frantic 911 call.

"My daughter is stuck in a frickin' tree and there are gators surrounding her," the mom says, her voice breaking into sobs. "We can't get her out. She's just 15. Oh my God. Please hurry! Please hurry!"

The girl had been rafting in Freak Creek during a family outing Friday when she noticed a gator following her in the water, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. She moved away and was able to climb a low-hanging tree branch, but was trapped there for more than 30 minutes by the aggravated alligator that wouldn't move away.

The dispatcher warned it could take as long as 20 minutes for a boat crew to reach the area. "Oh my God!" the mother cried. "My daughter is going to be f***ing dead!"

Deputy Mitch Blackmon arrived before the marine unit, but the gator wasn't afraid of him, either. Hissing, the reptile moved toward him. That's when Blackmon pulled his department-issued Bushmaster AR-15 and fired one round into the alligator, killing it.

The girl was able to climb down and into the arms of her family. She was tired, but not hurt. 

Florida residents are routinely warned that any body of water in the state has alligators in it. The sheriff's department said the gators are particularly aggressive now because it is mating season and they are guarding eggs typically laid along shorelines.

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