MOORE HAVEN, FL — A 17-year-old in Florida is lucky to be alive today after being attacked by an 11-foot alligator and only losing part of his arm.

The only reason why I am even posting this story is because of the victim, Kaleb Langdale, also known as Fred. The quotes from his friends are amusing and if they actually reflect Fred’s attitude, then he may be one of the few teens I actually like.

But before I get to the quotes, here’s what happened yesterday when Fred and some friends took a dip in in the Caloosahatchee River and caught the attention of a hungry gator.

“As soon as he’d seen Fred, the gator was coming after him. On top of the water, as fast as he could pedal, his tail was wagging back and forth, he was coming,” said Gary Beck.

Growing up in Florida, Fred and his friends are aware they are sharing the water with alligators, but this time of year means the animals are especially active.

“It’s just after mating season, eggs are already laid, but the gators are still very active,” said FWC Captain Jeff Ardelean. “Any type of commotion on the water is potential food in their eyes.”

On this day, the prey was Fred. After making a beeline towards him, Fred knew he was about to be attacked and did the one thing he could to hopefully prevent from being killed. He offered the gator his arm.

“He’s been around alligators all his life, He’s smart enough, he knows if he offers him his arm, he won’t take his torso. He was smart, he took the risk,” said Matthew Baker, who was in the water with Fred when the attack happened.

Fred got pulled underwater when the gator latched on to his arm. When Fred popped back up he alerted his friends that he had lost his right arm below the elbow and for someone to call paramedics.

Fred was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital while trappers scoured the area in an attempt to trap the gator that took Fred’s arm, and hopefully get it back. It took three hours, but the gator responsible was found and Fred’s arm was still inside. The arm was retrieved and sent to the hospital so doctors could try to re-attach it.

Unfortunately, doctors were not able to do so. But even so, Beck say Fred is in good spirits and happy the gator got his right arm instead of his left because that’s what he uses to steer his airboat. He also added that this attack won’t deter them from going back in the water. Especially Fred.

“He’ll be the first person back in,” said Beck. WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

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