Man loses arm in alligator attack at Florida bar

A man lost an arm after he was attacked by an alligator when he fell into a pond behind a Florida bar.

Jordan Rivera, 23, says he tripped and was attacked as he went to relieve himself behind Banditos bar in Port Charlotte because the lines for the bathroom were too long.

When he fell into the pond the 10ft long alligator attacked and bit off his right arm above the elbow.

Jordan Rivera lost right arm in alligator attack behind Florida bar (NBC2)
Jordan Rivera lost right arm in alligator attack behind Florida bar (NBC2)

Bar patrons ran outside when they heard Mr Rivera shouting for help, dragged him out of the water and applied a tourniquet to prevent him from bleeding to death.

“I didn’t lose my life, I lost an arm, it’s not the end of the world, you know,” Mr Rivera told NBC2 from his hospital bed.

And he explained what led to the horrific attack.

“I ended up walking over to the water hole, I didn’t realise how big it was at the time, as I was going over there something happened where I either tripped or the ground below me just went down,” Mr Rivera said.

“I ended up in the water. And that’s literally the last thing I remember.”

He said the next thing he knew he was in a hospital bed and was missing his arm.

“Confusion. I was like ‘Whoa’. Because I just woke up and I was just sitting here. And I looked over and I saw my arm the way it was and I was like, ‘Whoa,’” he said. “It kind of feels like my arm is just there, but not there.”

And he said he wanted to thank the rescuers who had saved his life.

“The first thing I would do is shake the man’s hand,” Mr Rivera said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission say that trappers were brought in to remove the alligator, which was then euthanised.

Mr Rivera’s mother, Teresa Lessa, told the news station that she was grateful her son had survived the attack, even with a major injury.

“That’s the best thing, is that I have him. Yes, arm gone, very traumatic. But he’s here,” Teresa Lessa said.

And she added: “I call them angels, that were there, that saved his life. The chance of someone being there with a tourniquet, to me, it’s a miracle that he’s here.”

There are around 1.3 million alligators in Florida, and they are found in all 67 counties of the state, according to FWC.

The agency says that over the last 10 years, Florida has averaged eight unprovoked alligator bites per pear that require professional medical treatment.

That means the chance of a Florida resident being seriously injured in an alligator attack is around one in 3.1 million, the agency states.