A 23-year-old man out drinking with his pals early on Sunday morning had his arm torn off by a 10.5-foot-long alligator.
The incident happened at Port Charlotte, Florida.
According to witnesses, the victim was standing near a pond close to Banditos Bar when the reptile lunged at him, sinking its razor-sharp teeth into his arm and pulling him into the water.
Emergency services rushed to the scene after frantic calls for help at about 1.42 am.
Manny Hidalgo, who happened to be inside the bar, sprang into action.
Armed with his phone’s flashlight, he located the victim, who was desperately swimming toward the shoreline. Hidalgo pulled him onto the sand, risking his own safety to save a stranger’s life.
Hidalgo said: “I was scared to get close to the water because it was dark.”
The injured man was airlifted to a nearby hospital in Fort Myers, where doctors made the decision to amputate his arm in a desperate bid to save his life, Insider reported.
While the circumstances leading to the attack remain murky, experts suggest that alligators can become more aggressive during their mating season, which is from April to June.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, responsible for handling such incidents, confirmed that a licensed trapper was called to the scene to remove the alligator. The reptile was put down to ensure the safety of the public.
In December 2022, the commission reported that the chances of a resident being seriously injured in an unprovoked alligator incident were approximately one in 3.1 million.
However, recent tragedies have highlighted the need for caution. Just a few months ago, an 85-year-old woman lost her life while trying to rescue her dog from an alligator in a Florida retirement community.
Compiled by staff writer
Pictured above: An alligator