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Florida man loses arm in attack by 10-foot alligator


Professionals captured and later euthanized the alligator.

A trip to the bathroom left a Florida man without an arm Saturday night.

Jordan Rivera, 23, was at Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte, Florida, late Saturday night. Discouraged by the long line for the bathroom, Rivera told ABC affiliate WZVN he decided to venture to a nearby pond instead.

“I just saw the lake, I’m just gonna go over there and pee a little bit or something,” he said. “Something happened where I either tripped … and ended up in the water and that’s literally the last thing I remember.”

Unfortunately, the pond near where Rivera fell was also inhabited by a ten-foot alligator, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Rivera doesn’t remember the next series of events that brought him to a local hospital, but he was missing his right arm when he woke up.

FWC officials, as well as first responders from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and EMS, responded to a report early Sunday morning of a man suffering “significant injuries” after being bitten by an alligator, according to FWC.

“These gators, I didn’t really understand them until I woke up in the hospital and, ‘Oh, the gator got your arm,'” Rivera said.

Rivera’s mother credits bystanders with saving her son’s life when she noticed his body near the pond and rushed to help.

“I call them angels who were there and saved his life,” Teresa Rivera told WZVN. “The chance that someone is there with a tourniquet for me, it’s a miracle that he’s here.”

After the incident, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hired a professional alligator trapper, who located the 10.5-foot alligator on the same property where Rivera was attacked. Officials removed the alligator from the pond and euthanized the animal.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the incident, instead referring questions about the attack to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which continues to investigate the incident.

Asked about online speculation that he might have tried to feed the alligator, prompting the attack, Rivera firmly dismissed the possibility, adding that the nearby bar does not offer food that he could have fed the gator.

Rivera is still recovering in the hospital with an amputated arm, but he looks back on the incident with optimism.

“I didn’t lose my life, I lost an arm,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world.”

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