PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (WFLA) — The man who lost most of his right arm to a 10-foot alligator said he is grateful to be alive after the attack.
“I didn’t lose my life,” Jordan Rivera, 23, said to NBC affiliate WBBH‘s Gage Goulding. “I lost an arm, it’s not the end of the world, you know.”
Sunday morning, Rivera fell into a pond behind Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte at around closing time.
He was then attacked by a massive, 10.5-foot alligator that bit his arm above the elbow and tore it off.
“They got my elbow. So, I don’t have an elbow,” Rivera said. “I can still move my arm around and whatnot.”
According to Rivera, he was near the pond to relieve himself because the bathrooms at the bar had long lines.
Once he was in the water, everything blacked out for him.
“I was like ‘Whoa,’” Rivera said. “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.”
According to WBBH, the young man managed to survive thanks to bar patrons who immediately rushed to his aid, pulling him from the pond and putting a tourniquet on him.
“I call them angels, that were there, that saved his life,” said Teresa Lessa, Rivera’s mother. “The chance of someone being there with a tourniquet, to me, it’s a miracle that he’s here.”
Rivera said there were some rumors of him feeding the gator, but he said that was untrue and that the bar didn’t even serve food.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the alligator was euthanized.