A MAN’s arm was brutally bitten off by an alligator as it tried to drag him into a death roll – before becoming lost in the wild for three days.
Eric Merda was visiting Lake Manatee Fish Camp in Myakka City, Florida when his trip became an extraordinary survival story.
When he finally reached the expansive local lake, the exhausted explorer decided to swim across rather than walk around.
But his time-saving decision nearly proved fatal when he dove into the water and was confronted by an alligator.
Eric told CBS Miami, “I looked over and there’s an alligator on my right side, so I went swimming and she got my forearm.
“So I grabbed her like this, she wanted to roll over, but she broke her head, so my arm went backwards…completely.”
The Florida native was fighting for his life as the reptile dragged him under the surface three times.
His arm was still trapped between his powerful jaws as Eric was thrown into a terrifying death roll.
The dizzying movement is the reptile’s preferred method of subduing its prey – it latches on to its prey and spins uncontrollably until its target is blown to pieces.
Eric says the beast then “snapped off with his arm” and left him wading through the alligator-infested waters in despair.
He eventually managed to climb out of the lake, but the disoriented local couldn’t find his way back.
Despite having one of his arms horribly ripped off, he spent the next three days wandering the wilderness with “bones sticking out.”
Eric recalled, “You can’t see anything… sometimes I felt like I was running in circles, I didn’t know it.
“So I started following the sun and power lines, stuff like that, stuff that I could see.”
He roamed the remote swamp before finally spotting a fence—with a man on the other side.
He continued, “I said, ‘Hey man, I need some help,’ and he said, ‘What are you doing?’ And I said, ‘An alligator got my arm’.
“He says, ‘Holy Smokes Man’.”
Eric miraculously survived his three-day expedition in the wasteland and is now adjusting to life without a limb.
He urged visitors to avoid bathing in Lake Manatee as deadly predators lurk underwater.
The Florida man added, “Don’t feed the alligators okay and you know who you are, throw rocks at them and stuff.”
“I’ve seen it on the construction sites, leave the alligators alone.”
Swimming is permitted in designated areas of the Sunshine State campground, but alligators have been known to roost below the surface in some spots during the day.
The attack comes after a fisherman in Zimbabwe was attacked by FOUR crocodiles, who dragged him underwater in a terrifying death roll.
Alexander Chimedza had an animal’s jaws clamped to each limb but was saved after a 40-minute struggle when his mates rained rocks off the bench.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6174206/arm-bitten-off-alligator-death-roll-got-lost-wilderness/ My arm was BITTEN OFF by an alligator as it went into death roll – I was then lost in the wilderness for 3 days