A man was airlifted to a hospital after getting attacked by an alligator at a Florida golf course while diving for golf balls. The 50-year-old man crawled out of a pond on a golf course with a significant injury to his arm.
He managed to break free from the grip that the alligator had on his arm, but the alligator almost took his arm off with that one bite. He was at the Rotunda Golf and Country Club in Englewood diving for golf balls in a pond along the Palms course when the alligator grabbed a hold of him.
According to Fox News Tampa, the victim of the alligator attack is identified as Scott Lahodik, who managed to get free of the alligator and pull himself out of the pond. He then got into his utility cart and drove up to where there were people so he could get some help.
The people at the golf course called 911, but by the time Lahodik arrived in that utility cart he was just about passed out. From what the witnesses could see, he was bitten in his left arm. David Kelly, who was one of the people in the group that Lahodik happened upon, said he could see “quite a bit of flesh wounds” on his arm. He had to have surgery from the wounds inflicted by that alligator.
According to NBC Local News, Lahodik’s arm was nearly taken off by the alligator in that pond. He remains in ICU and has undergone surgery but is still looking at more surgery on Monday. The alligator grabbed a hold of his arm and did the death roll, Lahodik said. This is when he punched the creature and it let go of his arm. Lahodik’s daughter told reporters that the alligator caused major muscle and artery damage in her dad’s upper arm. He has a long road ahead of him for a recuperation period.
— Tampa NewsChannel (@Tampa_NC) July 8, 2017
According to Fox News, the alligator could be seen peering out from the pond after the attack while officers from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Department looked on. Trappers were called to the scene to catch the alligator. According to Fox, alligators pose a hazard to golfers in Florida as they are drawn to the ponds created for the golf course fairways. Lahodik was hired by the golf course to clear the ponds of golf balls. This is what he does as a profession; he has been diving in ponds all around the nation for 30 years.
— Newspath Southeast (@CBSSoutheast) July 8, 2017
The alligator trackers pulled a 10.5-foot alligator out of the pond a few hours after the incident and it was to be euthanized. In this case, they don’t have a body part to confirm they have the right gator, but they do use other evidence to make sure they get the right gator when an event such as this comes up.
Michael Franz from Florida Fish & Wildlife explains that they’ll look for the most aggressive alligator in the pond and they’have a description from the victim on the alligator’s approximate size or any descriptive markings. After the incident, the golfers around the course where the alligator bit Lahodik agreed that what he does is a risky business.
[Featured Image by Alessandro Pierpaoli/Shutterstock]