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Seminole County gator attack leaves man with amputated arm

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A vicious gator attack in Seminole County left a man with an amputated arm.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says the man was swimming in Lake Monroe just before 2 a.m. Sunday when a gator attacked him. The attack left him with an amputated arm from the elbow down.

The agency says the man was homeless.

FWC is still investigating how the attack happened and why the man was in the lake in the middle of the night.

Brandon Fisher, alligator expert at Gatorland, says the attack happened in gators’ prime feeding time between dusk and dawn.

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“They’re hunting, you know, towards their prey items. So swimming around water, splash around, makes a lot of noise, possibly attracts alligators,” Fisher said.

He says gators are especially active this time of year because it’s their breeding season.

On top of that, gators, just like humans, are trying to escape the heat.

“If it’s nice and warm, and we’ve been getting the rain the last, you know, week or so, they get out and enjoy that rain cool down a little bit,” Fisher said.

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He says to avoid swimming when it’s dark out and in any undesignated areas.

It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million gators live in Florida. With that, Fisher says assume every body of freshwater in the state has a gator living in it.

In the event you encounter a gator, Fisher says to stand up in the water if you can so you can make yourself appear larger than what you might be-- and run.

If a gator latches onto you, fight back as hard as you an before it can begin what’s known as its death roll.

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“They’re not going to let go if they think it’s food. And they’re going to do what they can to get what they can. They don’t chew their food. They swallow whole,” Fisher said. “They’re going to shake back and forth and that rips, or they’re going to do that death roll, or they spin around.”

Fisher says to focus on fighting the gator in it’s most sensitive areas. That includes the end of his tail and its head, particularly the tip of its snout.

“The head... it’s all bone. I’d rather take a broken hand than maybe, you know, something more severe,” Fisher said.

It may seems like a no-brainer-- but Fisher says-- do not feed the gators! Feeding them associates food with humans and fisher says it encourages a gator to attack like what happened in Seminole County.

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