Alligator bites off swimming teen's arm in Florida

 

An alligator at least 10 feet (3 meters) long lunged at a teenager swimming in a river and bit off the boy's right arm below the elbow, state wildlife officials said yesterday.

Kaleb Langdale, 17, survived the encounter on Monday in the Caloosahatchee River west of Lake Okeechobee. Wildlife officers who caught and killed the alligator retrieved the arm, but doctors were unable to reattach it. 

"We found the alligator that was responsible," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said. "We were able to kill the alligator and dissect the alligator, remove the arm and transport the arm to the hospital to see if the doctors could reattach the limb."

The alligator was 10 or 11 feet long, Pino said.

The teen was in good condition yesterday at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers.

His friends told Fort Myers television station WBBH that while the arm could not be reattached, Langdale was in good spirits.

The alligator went straight for Langdale as he was swimming, Matt Baker said.

"It came at him and he put his arm in the way instead of letting it get to his body. It took his arm and him under," Baker said.

Another friend said Langdale popped out of the water shortly after being bitten.

"He was waving saying, 'Call the paramedics! My arm is gone!"' Gary Beck said.

The Glades County area near Lake Okeechobee where Langdale was swimming is known to have several large alligators in it, Pino said.

Alligators are more active this time of year because it's their mating season, which makes them more aggressive and inquisitive as they're looking for food and for mates. Wildlife officers warn that alligators can call just about any body of water in Florida home.

"Anything that makes any splash in the water or any little commotion in the water may attract them to that particular location," Pino said.

It's rare for wild alligators to bite humans, though, Pino said.

"We have millions of people swimming in the state's waterways and nothing happens," he said.

Since 1948, 224 people have suffered major alligator bites, including 22 fatal bites, according to June 2011 conservation commission data.

Wildlife officials were investigating what caused the alligator to bite Langdale.

"We want to understand the dynamics of the bite and understand what happened, what the alligator was doing, what the young man was doing, to see if there's anything we can learn from this," Pino said.

Last month, an airboat captain was giving a tour in southwest Florida when a 9-foot (2.75-meter) alligator bit off his left hand. The Indiana family on the boat said the captain had hung a fish over the side of the boat and had his hand at the water's surface when the alligator bit him.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Service Advisor

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Recruitment Genius: Logistics Coordinator / Admin Support

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Logistics Coordinator is required to join a ...

Recruitment Genius: International Exhibitions Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: International Exhibition Sales ...

Recruitment Genius: 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map