Man had arm bitten off in alligator attack before getting lost in wilderness for 3 days

Man had arm bitten off in alligator attack before getting lost in wilderness for 3 days



A man in Florida had his arm bitten off by an alligator while swimming across a lake, then spent three days lost in the wilderness.

Incredibly Eric Merda, who was attacked by the reptile at Lake Manatee Fish Camp in Myakka City survived the traumatic experience.

Out of hospital, and adjusting to life with one arm, he told CBS Miami that on July 17 this year he had decided to swim across the lake instead of walking around it.

He said: “I looked over and there’s a gator on my right-hand side, so I went to swim, and she got my forearm, so I grabbed her like this, she was trying to roll, but she snapped her head, so my arm went backwards… completely.

“She dragged me under, three times. She’s already got my arm, so when we came up the third time, she finally did a death roll and took off with my arm.”

With only one arm, he managed to get himself out of the lake, but was unsure where he was and spent the next three days lost in the woods.

He said he felt like he was walking in circles at first so started following “the sun and power lines, stuff like that”.

Eventually Eric, who is a Florida local, came across a fence and soon saw a man on the other side.

“I said ‘hey man I need some help’ and he says ‘what are you doing’ and I said ‘a gator got my arm’. He says ‘holy smokes man.”‘

Eric Merda is now adjusting to life with one arm and warned others to stay away from alligators ( Image: Sky News)
Eric Merda is now adjusting to life with one arm and warned others to stay away from alligators ( Image: Sky News)

After recovering in hospital, he’s now out and has some alligator advice for others.

He said: “Do not feed the gators alright and you guys know who you are, throwing rocks at them and stuff, I’ve seen it on the job sites, leave them gators alone.”

Meanwhile, a man was killed by a crocodile in Mexico on August 18 after he entered a lagoon where a crowd of people had gathered to watch turtles swim.

The horrific moment in Carpenters Lagoon in Tampico city was caught on camera showing the giant predator gripping the lifeless body of the swimmer in its jaws.

Eric was trying to swim across a lake in Florida's swamplands when the alligator attacked ( Image: Sky News)
Eric was trying to swim across a lake in Florida’s swamplands when the alligator attacked ( Image: Sky News)

Local police reportedly said that the victim, who has not been named, ignored repeated warnings placed around the lagoon advising people not to swim in it due to the danger of crocodiles.

The crocodile is seen in the clip, taken from an observation deck on the lagoon, dragging the half-naked body through the otherwise placid waters before disappearing under the surface into the city sewers.

This article by Sara Odeen-Isbister was first published by The Mirror on 7 September 2022. Lead Image: The alligator dragged Eric under three times, he said ( Image: Getty Images). 


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