close Witness speaks about alligator bite that claimed Florida man's hand Video

Witness speaks about alligator bite that claimed Florida man’s hand

One man is in the hospital following an alligator attack that happened Sunday afternoon. FOX 35 Orlando obtained the 911 call and spoke with a witness. 

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A Florida man is in the hospital after losing his hand to an alligator bite.

The man was fishing in a pond in a Leesburg neighborhood when the gator attacked him, according to FOX 35 Orlando. A crew from the TV station spoke with a witness who saw it all unfold Sunday.

“While the guy was on the ground, the gator got the guy in the hand, and the two rolled,” Ron Priest said. 

Priest’s wife was one of two people who called 911 for help. Lake County Fire Rescue released the calls to FOX 35, in which one of the callers can be heard saying, “Hand is gone!”


Florida man loses hand to gator

The alligator bite victim reportedly had his hand taken from him, a witness said. (Ron Priest/Provided to FOX 35 Orlando)

Priest said the fisherman was reeling in a fish when the reptile opened its jaws and chomped down on the victim’s hand. 

“The gator was after [the] fish, and what we don’t know is if the guy was trying to unhook the fish,” he said, stating the gator ran back into the water without the fish and fisherman. 


Gator in water

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shot the gator they said was about nine feet long. (FOX 35 Orlando)

Help arrived at the scene minutes later, and a helicopter airlifted the man to a hospital in Orlando. 

“It’s my understanding that [FWC] can’t dispose of a human part. It has to be sent to a medical facility, and so, in the odd chance that it could have been re-attached, they drove it to Orlando,” Priest told FOX 35.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shot what it called a “nuisance gator,” following protocol for gators that attack humans. The state agency estimates the gator who bit the man was approximately nine feet long.

Man airlifted to Orlando

The gator bite victim was airlifted to a hospital in Orlando. (Sandy Williams/Provided to FOX 35 Orlando)


“The likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly only one in 3.1 million,” FWC stated in a Human Alligator Incidents Fact Sheet. Most recent statistics from 2022 show 13 bites across the sunshine state: nine major, two minor and two fatal. 

Those who encounter an alligator that is believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property are asked to call FWC’s Nusiance Gator Hotline at 1866-FWC-GATOR (392-4286). 

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