Florida Dad Pulls Son From Gator's Jaws
6-year-old suffers minor injuries as reptile thwarts canoe trip
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2013 3:52 AM CDT
Updated Apr 23, 2013 6:26 AM CDT
An eight-foot long alligator swims through the waters of the Florida Everglades.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

(Newser) – Florida dad Joseph Welch may have set a new record for the worst ever start to a canoe trip: He was still at the concession stand paying for a canoe at a northern Everglades wildlife refuge when his 6-year-old son toppled into the water and was seized by an 8-foot alligator. The boy escaped with only minor injuries after Welch grabbed him with one hand and punched the reptile with the other while a bystander kicked it in the belly, the Miami Herald reports.

"There had to have been angels holding this beast back," Welch says. "That alligator had no reason to let go, no reason." He says his son, who was treated for cuts and bruises after the attack last Friday, is doing fine, hasn't had trouble sleeping, and was even able to return to school yesterday. A trapper later caught and killed the alligator, as is standard practice after an attack on humans. The Australian crocodile who grabbed a French fisherman's head in its jaws before being beaten back, however, is still at large.

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Apr 23, 2013 10:20 AM CDT
Must have been a sick or weak and dying gator. All they have to do is roll once with you in their jaws. It's amazing that it didn't.
Apr 23, 2013 9:18 AM CDT
"There had to have been angels holding this beast back," This is how people thought about the world for thousands of years. Everything we didn't understand was attributed to a god or gods. Then came Galileo and Newton who gave us the scientific method. After that our knowledge started to grow, exponentially. One central tenet of the scientific method is that God didn't do it, or more specifically, there is a natural (as opposed to a supernatural) explanation. Religion doesn't give us answers, it just stops us from asking questions. The result was millennia of perpetual ignorance. The gator most likely realized that, yes he could eat the child, but he would then be killed by the angry humans. There certainly aren't any angels.
Apr 23, 2013 8:32 AM CDT