As was first reported by the Advance-Guard on Friday at mySouTex.com, a man sustained puncture wounds and lacerations after being attacked by an alligator at the park during a swim Thursday night.
According to a Goliad County Sheriff’s Office report, deputies responded to a call at 11:17 p.m. and found Robert Corbin being tended to by park personnel near the front entrance.
Corbin had puncture wounds and lacerations to both sides of his head, but was coherent and able to talk to deputies.
According to the report, Corbin said he was staying at one of the campsites and went swimming sometime after 10 p.m. As he was swimming, there was a sudden thrashing in the water and he felt a momentary pressure on his head. He was able to return to shore where he called for assistance.
The alligator swam away in an unknown direction. Corbin said he believes he accidentally brushed the alligator in the darkness while swimming, which caused the animal to react and bite him.
Corbin did not know how big the alligator was and no witnesses to the incident were located.
Corbin was transported to DeTar Hospital by Goliad EMS with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to Korth, the incident was the first reported alligator attack of a guest in the park’s 34-year history.
“Typically, we discourage any of our users from swimming after dark,” Korth said. “That’s when the alligators are most active.”
Korth said the park doesn’t have more alligators than usual this year.
“What’s happening not just at our park but at every place is the number of people utilizing the facilities is growing,” Korth said. “The chance of an interaction with any wildlife is dramatically increased just by the number of people.”
Korth also said fishermen have accidentally attracted alligators to their campsites.
“We have campers clean their fish at their campsite and dump fish remains right at the shoreline of their campsite,” Korth said. “Alligators are opportunistic feeders, which means if you’re offering them a free handout, they’ll start showing up.”