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Wednesday, November 26, 2014         

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Alligator bites off swimming teen's arm in Florida

By Associated Press

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MOORE HAVEN, Fla. >> An alligator at least 10 feet long lunged at a teenager swimming in a river and bit off the teen's right arm below the elbow, state wildlife officials said Tuesday.

Kaleb Langdale, 17, survived the encounter Monday in the Caloosahatchee River west of Lake Okeechobee. Wildlife officers who caught and killed the alligator retrieved the arm, but doctors were unable to reattach it.

"We found the alligator that was responsible," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said. "We were able to kill the alligator and dissect the alligator, remove the arm and transport the arm to the hospital to see if the doctors could reattach the limb."

The alligator was 10 or 11 feet long, Pino said.

The teen was rushed to a Fort Myers hospital. His condition was not available early Tuesday.

His friends told Fort Myers television station WBBH that while the arm could not be reattached, Langdale was in good spirits.

The alligator went straight for Langdale as he was swimming, Matt Baker said.

"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 said.

The Glades County area near Lake Okeechobee where Langdale was swimming is known to have several large alligators in it, Pino said.

Alligators are more active this time of year because it's their mating season, which makes them more aggressive and inquisitive as they're looking for food and for mates. Wildlife officers warn that alligators can call just about any body of water in Florida home.






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