PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA — A ten-foot alligator attacked a man and severed his arm behind a well-known bar early Sunday morning.
“So I ended up walking over to the water hole, I didn’t realize how big it was at the time, as I was going over there something happened where I either tripped or the ground below me just went down,” Jordan Rivera, the 23-year-old male victim said. “I ended up in the water. And that’s literally the last thing I remember.”
Injuries to his arm were so severe that he was airlifted to Gulf Coast Medical Center for urgent medical attention.
“Those gators, I didn’t truly understand them until I woke up in the hospital and, ‘Oh, gator got your arm,’” Rivera told NBC2 from his hospital bed in the ICU.
“I didn’t lose my life, I lost an arm, it’s not the end of the world, you know,” said Rivera.
Authorities from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived later that morning to capture the gator responsible for the attack. Officials said the gator was euthanized, a common response when the ancient reptiles attack humans.
DON’T FEED THE GATORS!
Patrons of the bar told WBBH that they have seen alligators in the pond for years. David Lowe, a frequent customer, said he’s seen a giant alligator in the pond for approximately two decades.
“At least 20 years, the big one I know of – if it’s the same one, he’s been there 20 years,” Lowe said.
Lowe also said he was concerned because visitors to the bar and nearby restaurant have been seen feeding the alligators in the pond.
“There was a restaurant they just tore down, and I know people did feed or, you know, throw whatever they didn’t eat down on the water,” Lowe told the news outlet.
Feeding alligators in Florida is prohibited, because it can cause the reptiles to lose their natural fear of humans and associate them with a food source.
Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission urges people to report instances of alligators being fed to 888-404-FWCC or myfwc.com.