Authorities say a Florida teenager is recovering after an alligator attack took off part of his right arm.
According to WKMG Orlando, Kaleb Langdale, 17, was swimming in the Caloosahatchee River on Monday (July 9) when an 11-foot foot gator lunged at the teen and bit him.
“The gator was about two feet away from him, just came straight at him,” said Matthew Baker, who was in the water with Langdale at the time.
“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.”
Baker pointed out that Langdale has been around alligators his entire life and offered the gator his arm to avoid more serious injuries.
“He knows if he offers him his arm, he won’t take his torso. He was smart, he took the risk,” Baker added.
Following the attack, Langdale, who is known as “Fred” to his buddies, was rushed to a Fort Myers hospital, while Florida game officials hunted down and killed the gator to retrieve the teenager’s arm.
Unfortunately, the arm was in too bad a condition to be reattached to the teenager in hospital, officials said.
Despite losing a limb, Langdale was in good spirits after the attack and reportedly was even cracking jokes.
“He’s making jokes,” said Rebecca Langdale, Kaleb’s sister. “The first thing he told my mom when she arrived on the scene was, ‘At least it didn’t get my (left) arm. I can still drive my airboat because the airboat is powered with the left.’”
When asked if the gator attack would prevent her or her brother from enjoying the water, Rebecca said no and added:
“Especially not Fred. He’ll be the first person back in.”
WTSP has more on Kaleb Langdale’s alligator attack in the video below: