Chilling 911 Calls Describe Moment Florida Fisherman Lost Hand to Alligator

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A Florida fisherman had his hand bitten off by a massive alligator as he tried to land a freshwater bass on Sunday afternoon, witnesses and chilling 911 calls revealed.

The attack occurred in the Orlando suburb of Leesburg, at a pond located on a golf course inside a retirement community, the witness Ron Priest told Fox 35. Priest said he watched the unnamed fisherman and alligator roll together on the ground, with the gator eventually biting off his hand and returning to the water.

Priest said his wife was one of two people to dial 911—chilling calls that Lake County authorities released Monday.

One caller can be heard exclaiming, “There is a gator attacking a man in my backyard,” followed by, “Some people now have stopped in their golf carts.”

The other caller, who wasn’t identified, dialed 911 shortly after. The dispatcher asked if the call was regarding a gator attack, which the caller responded, “Yes, he took his hand off.” The dispatcher responded, “Oh no, okay,” before the caller exclaimed, “Hand is gone!”

Priest said the fisherman had been reeling in a massive bass when the gator emerged. He said he’s unsure if the fisherman was trying to remove the hook from the fish, but said it was clear the gator was chasing after the bass.

After biting the man’s hand, Priest told Fox 35 that the gator, said to be nine feet long, scurried back into the water, leaving the fish and man behind. Within minutes, first responders arrived, and the fisherman was airlifted to a hospital in Orlando, he said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it was dispatched to the pond and killed the alligator involved. The hand was recovered from the reptile’s stomach, Fox 35 reported, but it’s unclear if it will be able to be re-attached to the fisherman.