Florida man bitten in ‘extremely rare’ alligator attack has part of arm amputated

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A 31-year-old man who was bitten by an alligator in an “extremely rare” attack at Florida’s Lake Monroe this week has had to have part of his arm amputated, officials say. 

The victim, who the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says was “experiencing homelessness,” was swimming in the lake in Sanford around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, according to media reports.

“We were driving back home and passed by a guy, basically lying on the side here, covered in blood,” Kendall Hardester, a witness who was in the area at the time, told Fox35 Orlando. “He was missing his arm from here; you could see his bone and all the flesh coming out of it.” 

“I just ran over. There was one little towel that he had, so I took it, covered his arm with it, and squeezed it till the paramedics got there,” she added. 

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FWC spokesperson Lauren Claerbout told Fox News Digital on Friday morning that “Human-alligator conflicts are extremely rare in Florida, and the likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly one in 3.1 million.” 

“On June 16, 2024, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received a report of a man who received serious injuries after being bitten by an alligator while swimming in a lake in Seminole County,” she added. “The FWC is currently investigating this incident.”

John Lawson, a fisherman who also claimed to have been in the area early Sunday, said in an interview with WKMG that he had spotted a man “dipping under the water and coming back up and gasping.” 

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Florida alligator

“I asked him if he was alright. I startled him. He said, ‘Yeah, yeah, No. I’m good,’” Lawson told the station. “I kind of hung around for a minute just to make sure, because it was strange going under the water.” 

“I was like, ‘Man, we’re just trying to help you. You’re out here in the dark, like you’re either gonna get hit by a boat or eaten by a gator,’ He said he wasn’t worried about gators,” Lawson added. 

The FWC said the man was taken to a nearby hospital following the attack, where he had part of his arm amputated, according to WKMG. 

Florida Everglades alligator

 

Its researchers estimate that there are more than 1,200 alligators living in Lake Monroe, according to WKMG. 

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