State wildlife officials have confirmed that an alligator estimated to be at least 10 feet long has bitten off the arm of 17-year-old Kaleb Langdale while swimming in the Caloosahatchee River west of Lake Okeechobee.
Langdale's arm was bitten off just below the elbow during the incident.
“We found the alligator that was responsible,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said. “We were able to kill the alligator and dissect the alligator, remove the arm and transport the arm to the hospital to see if the doctors could reattach the limb.”
Langdale was rushed to a hospital in Fort Myers where his friends have reported that they were informed his arm could not be re-attached but that Langdale was in good spirits.
“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,” Matt Baker said.
It is alligator mating season which makes them more aggressive since they are looking for a mate and food and will investigate any type of splashing, including those from swimmers.
Last month an airboat captain had his hand bitten off by a 9-foot alligator in southwest Florida while giving a tour to an Indiana family.