In a horrifying incident, a wildlife expert in the United States lost his right forearm after being mauled by the very alligator he took care of.
According to a Facebook post, Greg Graziani, the director of wildlife at Florida Gator Gardens, was attacked on August 17 "during a routine interaction with (the park's) large alligators". Following the incident, he was rushed to Tampa General Hospital with an extreme injury that left his hand connected by just a single tendon and some muscle that the surgeon had to first untwist six times.
"A tendon and some muscle that the surgeon had to untwist six times during the initial surgery. Needless to say, we were fully expecting an amputation from the moment after impact," the caption of the social media post read.
Mr Graziani went under the knife for about nine hours and doctors amputated below his elbow. Florida Gator Gardens officials said surgeons tried to reattach his arm by putting plates together to hold the bones. But they were unable to save Mr Graziani's hand days later.
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The doctors then "performed a procedure to reroute the nerves from the amputated limb in such a way that helps eliminates phantom pain and offers the option for prosthetics at very top of technological advancements and innovations," the park said.
This wasn't the first time Graziani himself had been at the wrong end of an alligator. The park informed that in 2013, he almost lost his right arm while capturing an alligator on someone else's property.
However, the post read that despite several altercations with the giant reptiles, Mr Graziani is still dedicated to protecting the creatures and educating people about them. "Even through the pain and heavy medication, he is still preaching his reptile education to nurses, doctors, and visitors alike," wrote the park.
On the other hand, the alligator involved in the attack was uninjured and will remain as a "valued member of the zoo," the park officials said.