Florida Man Loses Arm After Being Attacked By Alligator Behind A Bar

alligator with its mouth open

iStockphoto / Alex Pankratov

A Florida man is lucky to be alive after having his arm amputated above the elbow following an alligator attack behind a bar in Port Charlotte, Florida.

The alligator attack occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning behind Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte, about 30 minutes south of Sarasota.

There are typically less than 1 unprovoked attacks by alligators on humans each year in Florida. Attacks by alligators on humans are very rare. Even rarer are attacks of this nature where someone has to have their arm amputated.

Todd Dunn, a Charlotte County Fire & EMS spokesperson, said the “responding crew treated a male patient who had an above the elbow amputation of his upper right extremity. Bystanders applied a tourniquet to the patient before we arrived.”

The alligator was determined to be a 10-foot, 5-inch gator in the pond behind Banditos Bar. A press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the 10+ foot alligator was captured and “humanely killed” after the attack.

In December, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission published a facts sheet on ‘Human-Alligator Incidents.’ The gist is attacks of this nature are incredibly rare not only in Florida but everywhere alligators are present.

Florida Man Loses His Arm After Alligator Attack

Rare or not, this must have been a waking nightmare for the man who was attacked.

According to a report in USA Today, emergency services were called to the bar around 1:40 AM Sunday morning. 2 AM is closing time at Bandidos so the incident likely occurred at or right around ‘last call’ just as the Saturday night crowd was preparing to head home.

Bar patrons slowed the bleeding by creating a tourniquet. Upon arrival, the first responders had to immediately perform the ‘above the elbow amputation’ to save his life. The victim was then flown by helicopter to the Gulf Coast Hospital in Fort Myers.

According to the Erie Zoo, alligators have a measured bite force of 2,000 pounds per square inch. That’s over three times more powerful than lions which have a measured bite force of 600 PSI. Humans have a bite force of 120 PSI.

The bar where the alligator attack occurred sits on a pond and is across the street from a Publix. It is in close proximity of the El Jobean Bridge, a popular fishing spot where the Myakka River meets Charlotte Harbor.

This is all very close to where I live and grew up. In fact, I used to go camping near the Myakka River all the time and have fished near the El Jobean Bridge more times than I could count.

There are A LOT of BIG ALLIGATORS in and around the Myakka River.

Anyone alligators are in the area it is important to always exercise caution. Give them plenty of space. Keep your head on a swivel and always looking out for them. If the water visibility is low then it’s best not to get in the water in the first place. Be careful out there.