A 23-year-old man sustained “significant injuries” in an alligator attack near Fort Myers, Florida, early on Sunday morning, wildlife officials said. The man lost his arm as a result, according to the Associated Press.
The alligator measured 10 1/2 feet long and was later killed. It attacked the man, whose name has not been released, behind Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte, a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement to CBS News, noting that there is a pond next to the bar. Authorities with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and EMS responded to the incident alongside the state wildlife agency, after receiving a report that a man had been bitten by an alligator.
The man was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Fort Myers, where he underwent surgery to amputate his arm, the AP reported, citing a spokesperson from Charlotte County Fire and EMS. CBS News contacted the spokesperson for confirmation but did not receive an immediate reply.
Manny Hidalgo, another patron who was at Banditos Bar when the alligator attack happened, said he heard screaming outside and left the bar with a flashlight to see what was going on, according to The Daily Sun, a newspaper based in Port Charlotte. The victim was in the water when Hidalgo found him, he recalled.
“He was yelling and swimming toward the shoreline,” Hidalgo told The Daily Sun in an interview Sunday afternoon. “I ran and dragged him up onto the sand. I was scared to get close to the water because it was dark out.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident. After the attack, the agency sent a nuisance alligator trapper to the scene, who located the alligator and removed it from the property. The animal, which measured was humanely killed, the agency said.