PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man lost his arm after being attacked by a 10-foot alligator early Sunday morning, according to officials.
NBC affiliate WBBH reported that the victim, a 23-year-old man, was attacked at a pond behind Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte.
He was airlifted to Gulf Coast Medical Center for serious injuries, officials said.
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spent the morning trying to wrangle the giant gator after the attack.
According to customers at Banditos Bar, alligators have appeared at the pond near the bar in the past.
“At least 20 years, the big one I know of if it’s the same one, he’s been there 20 years.” customer David Lowe told WBBH.
However, according to Lowe, things appear to have become problematic with visitors feeding the alligators in the pond.
“There was a restaurant they just tore down, and I know people did feed that you know throw whatever they didn’t eat down on the water,” he said.
Feeding alligators is illegal, as it can cause the alligator to lose their fear of people and associate them with food. The FWC said this can lead to dangerous interactions between alligators and humans, so it encourages people to report any alligator feeders by calling the FWC’s Wildlife Alert at 888-404-FWCC or visiting MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert.