Another harrowing tale from Mother Nature: An alligator at least 10 feet long lunged at a teenager swimming in a Florida river and bit off the teen's right arm below the elbow, state wildlife officials said today. Kaleb Langdale, 17, survived yesterday's encounter in the Caloosahatchee River—but, though wildlife officers who caught and killed the alligator retrieved the arm from inside the beast, doctors were unable to reattach it. Even so, his friends told a local television station that Kaleb is in good spirits.
The alligator went straight for Kaleb as he was swimming, one friend said: "It came at him and he put his arm in the way instead of letting it get to his body. It took his arm and him under." Another friend said Kaleb popped out of the water shortly after being bitten. "He was waving saying, 'Call the paramedics! My arm is gone!'" the friend says. Alligators are more active this time of year because it's their mating season, but an official says it's rare for wild alligators to bite humans. (Read more animal attack stories.)