Kaleb Langdale, 17, was swimming in Florida’s Caloosahatchee River on Monday when he was attacked by an alligator, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) (via MSNBC.com). The alligator bit off his right arm below the elbow.
The alligator was 11-feet in length and was found and killed following the attacked which was near Lake Okeechobee.
Officials said the alligator was dissected and the arm was located and brought to the hospital so doctors could attempt to reattach it.
Unfortunately, doctors were not able to reattach the limb.
Friends of Kaleb who were swimming in the river with him said the alligator didn’t attack because it was being taunted.
“It ended up being about a 10-and-a-half-foot gator who came straight at him. 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,” said friend Matt Baker to MSNBC.com.
Another friend recounted how Kaleb “popped out of the water” after the attack.
Officials with the FWC said it’s a risky time of year for swimming because it’s alligator mating season, and “any type of splash in the water is prey for them.”
As for Kaleb, his friends say he’s in “good spirits.” Had it been his left arm, he would be left without the limb he uses to steer his airboat.
Here’s looking at the bright (if not the right) side.
Photo credit: iStock