Teen Lets Gator Eat Arm, Survives Attack

17-year-old pulled free and swam to safety

Ryan O'Hanlon

While swimming with friends in the Caloosahatchee River in Moore Haven, Florida, on Monday, 17-year-old Kaleb Langdale was attacked by a 10-plus-foot alligator. The alligator latched on to Langdale’s arm, and rather than trying to pry it free and perhaps risk further—possibly fatal—damage from his attacker, Langdale waited until the alligator broke though his arm bones. He then pushed off the alligator’s body with his feet, which ripped off his right arm below the elbow in the alligator’s mouth, but allowed Langdale to swim to safety. After successful surgery to close his wounds, Langdale is now in stable condition and in surprisingly good spirits. Doctors were unable to save the arm in time, and the alligator has since been killed by wildlife officers.

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