A 23-year-old Florida man who was attacked two days ago by an alligator outside a facility near Fort Myers, Florida, has been listed in ‘fair’ condition as he is being treated at the Gulf Coast Medical Center following a limb amputation, Fox News Digital confirmed Tuesday, May 23.
“We responded around 1:40 a.m. Sunday morning to the address behind Banditos Bar for an animal bite,” Todd Dunn, public information manager for Charlotte County Fire and EMS, told Fox News Digital about of the May 21 incident.
“Once we got there, we started treating a male patient for an amputation of his right arm above the elbow. We put him in a helicopter and they flew him to Fort Myers.”
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Dunn said that before first responders arrived, customers had already put on a tourniquet in an attempt to help save the man.
“They definitely helped slow the bleeding and by applying the tourniquet they helped save a life,” Dunn said.
Mary Briggs, spokesperson for Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, told Fox News Digital that the patient’s condition is “fair” – meaning his “vital signs are stable and within normal limits,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
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Dunn said the lifesaving actions taken by everyday citizens happened during National EMS Week, which runs May 21-27, and the “Stop The Bleed” campaign is an area of focus.
“Whenever you have someone injured, the residents are the real first responders there,” Dunn noted, explaining how bystanders are usually there to help even before EMS arrives.
“So any time they can make an effort to stop the bleeding, whether it’s applying a tourniquet or applying pressure to a wound – something like that – it can be a life-saving measure.” , Dunn added. “It’s something we really want to encourage people to learn how to do, if they don’t know how to do it.”
He continued: “Follow the steps to learn how to do basic first aid and stop the bleeding.”
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received a report on May 21 after the man was bitten by the alligator near a pond behind Banditos Bar in Port Charlotte, according to a statement obtained by Fox News Digital. of the FWC, who had also responded to the scene.
“A contracted nuisance alligator trapper has been dispatched to the scene where a 10’5″ alligator was removed from the property and humanely killed,” the FWC statement read.
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The FWC is currently investigating the incident.
In 2022, there were nine major and two minor alligator bites in Florida, according to a report by the FWC.
In 2021, there were seven major and three minor alligator bites. There was one death in 2018 and 2019, the FWC noted.
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The FWC said it administers a statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to “proactively respond to alligator threats in developed areas, while conserving alligators in areas where they occur naturally”.
SNAP uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers in Florida to remove alligators that may pose a threat to people, pets or property.
Floridians with concerns about an alligator should call the FWC’s Nuisance Alligator toll-free hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
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The FWC also offered the following advice to stay safe and “reduce the risk of conflict with alligators”.
1. Keep a safe distance if you see an alligator.
2. Keep pets on a leash and away from the water’s edge. Pets often resemble the natural prey of alligators.
3. Swim only in designated swimming areas during the day and without your pet. Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.
4. Never feed an alligator. It is illegal and dangerous.
“When fed, alligators can lose their natural wariness and instead learn to associate people with the availability of food. This can lead to dangerous circumstances for yourself and others who might encounter the ‘alligator in the future,’ the FWC warned.
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Fox News Digital’s Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.