Gator Bites Off Fisherman’s Hand on a Florida Golf Course

by Vern Evans

“There’s a gator attacking a man in my backyard. The people now have stopped in their golf carts”

An alligator lays on a golf course.

The attack took place on a golf course pond. Photograph by Mark / Adobe Stock

An unidentified man is recovering in Orlando Regional Medical Center after a 9-foot alligator bit his hand and wrist Sunday afternoon. The man was fishing in a pond at the Pennbrooke Fairways retirement community in Leesburg, Florida, at the time of the attack.

In multiple local news reports, neighbors stated that the man was in his 20s and either visiting his mother at the time. He was fixing up an old car and decided to take a fishing break. Neighbor Sally Priest says she witnessed the gator rolling around on the hill with the man gripped in its jaws and called 911. She confirmed that the gator bit his hand and part of his arm off. A local animal trapper shot and killed the alligator before retrieving the man’s hand, she said. 

“I feel so bad for the man,” Priest told the Daily Commercial

According to emergency call recordings released to Outdoor Life by Lake County Fire Rescue, one caller reported that the man’s hand was gone. LCFR could not confirm the extent of the injuries due to laws protecting patient information.

Dispatcher: Is this regarding a gator attack?

Caller: Yes, it took his hand off!

Dispatcher: Okay, tell me the name of the golf course.

Caller: *Redacted* His hand is gone.

Another caller reported that the man was “moaning and groaning” in the backyard and that he was covered in blood.

Caller: There’s a gator attacking a man in my backyard. The people now have stopped in their golf carts. Ron, what do you see?

Voice in background: He’s got his hand screwed up and has blood on his shirt. He’s walking around.

Caller: He’s walking around with blood on his hand.

Dispatcher: Understood.

Caller: He was rolling around with the gator.

Dispatcher: How old was he?

Caller: I don’t know, he’s got black hair. Are you sending anyone yet?

Dispatcher: Yes ma’am, we have someone on the way already, these questions aren’t slowing them down.

Caller: Oh okay, I’m just shaking … he’s moaning and groaning, I can hear him.

An FWC officer and nuisance alligator trapper responded to the scene, FWC public information director Kristen Turner confirmed with Outdoor Life in an emailed statement. They removed the 9 foot 3 inch male alligator from the area.

Read Next: Mississippi Processor Finds 8,000-Year-Old Relics in the Belly of a 750-Pound Gator

That same day, a 68-year-old man was also reportedly attacked by a crocodile in Everglades National Park while swimming to shore from a capsized sailboat in Flamingo Marina, the National Park Service announced in a press release Monday. The man was treated for a laceration to his leg and is in stable condition.

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