Florida Man Attacked by 10-foot Alligator While Hunting for Hog with His Wife

A Florida man was airlifted to hospital yesterday after being bitten on the leg by an alligator that was estimated to be approximately 10-feet long, police say.

James Bryce, 46, was hunting for hog with his wife at the time of the gator attack, which took place at roughly 10 a.m. in the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in Loxahatchee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) told media outlet WPEC.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement, posted to Facebook alongside a video of the rescue operation, that the man was found in a "heavy marsh area" of the nature preserve after being bitten on the right leg.

"The victim sustained a substantial injury to his leg and needed immediate assistance," the office wrote. The injury was not life-threatening.

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"Once located in the heavy marsh area, Martin County Fire Rescue's LifeStar transported the victim to a hospital in Palm Beach County. A witness said the gator was approximately 10-feet long," it added.

On its own account, J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area referenced the other hunters who helped law enforcement during the Sunday morning rescue, writing: "Great job to those that helped get the injured man out. Some heroes don't wear capes...they wear orange!"

The sheriff's office footage attracted hundreds of shares, while the nature preserve's Facebook account included comments from users who said they were involved in the operation.

One man, Danny McClelland, said that the victim had been "bleeding profusely" at the time. McClelland said he had used zip ties on the victim's leg before putting him on a buggy to the helicopter. Another man, Tyler Schwalm, posted images of a vehicle and a video of the airlift. "Probably only good time I'll ever have law enforcement on my buggy lol," he wrote.

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The J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area is located roughly 25 miles northwest of Florida's West Palm Beach and spans a total of 60,348 acres. A hunting license is not currently required to hunt wild hog, the FWC says in an online fact-sheet about laws in the region.

"For thousands of years people have inhabited the area and survived by hunting and fishing the abundant natural bounty," the park's website states.

It remains unclear what initially sparked the alligator bite. The FWC notes the predators are found in all 67 counties in Florida, with a population estimated to be around 1.3 million.

"Alligators seldom bite people for reasons other than food," it says. "Female alligators may protect nests by hissing and opening their mouths to frighten intruders but rarely bite people. Alligator bites are most likely to occur in or around water. Bites on humans have occurred in a variety of water bodies, many of which are small and not regularly used by alligators."

While rare, gator bites can often result in serious infections, officials warned.

MAN BITTEN BY ALLIGATOR

MAN INJURED AFTER BEING BITTEN BY LARGE ALLIGATORThe Martin County Sheriff's Aviation Unit helped locate a man who was bitten by an alligator in the Dupuis Management/SW Corbett Wildlife Area, which sits along the Martin/Palm Beach County Line. The victim sustained a substantial injury to his leg and needed immediate assistance. Once located in the heavy marsh area, Martin County Fire Rescue's LifeStar transported the victim to a hospital in Palm Beach County. A witness said the gator was approximately 10-feet long.Florida Fish and Game will be investigating. No further information is available.

Posted by Martin County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, November 9, 2019
Florida Man Attacked by 10-foot Alligator While Hunting for Hog with His Wife | News