Gator bites off teen's arm

Teen flown to hospital after attack


MOORE HAVEN, Fla. – A 17-year-old boy in South Florida said he wants the head of the alligator that bit off part of his arm Monday.

Trappers caught the gator and recovered Kaleb Langdale's arm, but it cannot be re-attached. Langsdale said he sacrificed his arm to avoid being killed while swimming in the Caloosahatchee River near Lake Okeechobee.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is hoping a new warning can prevent similar alligator attacks.

"Well he started pulling me down and I knew it's either this bone, I've got to lose this arm, or I'm going to die," said Langsdale.

The FWC said with in the warm summer weather there's a pretty good chance of running into a gator, especially if you live near water. Karen Baker with the FWC offers this top safety tip: "Stay away from them, and if you do see an alligator in an unusual place or a place where the gator should not be, to call our Nuisance Alligator Hotline and let the experts take care of it." 

One thing people should never do is feed the alligator. Baker says it makes the gator more comfortable around people, and you can get cited if you are caught.

Experts say the only safe place to come close to an alligator is somewhere like an alligator farm. They say out in the wild an alligators behavior can be unpredictable. Reptile keepers at the St. Augustine Alligator farm said people can never tell if a wild alligator is looking for food, or resting.

"Most of them are quick to get out of your way but there's always one that that isn't and just because some of them are afraid of you doesn't mean every one of them is going to be," said reptile keeper, Cody Bartolini.