A good Samaritan used a dog leash as a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding of a bicyclist who was attacked by an alligator at a park in Stuart, Florida, on Monday, according to a report.
The unidentified victim was riding his bike on a trail at Halpatiokee Regional Park around 11 a.m. when he lost control and fell into a body of water near the alligator. The victim was able to break free, but not before the roughly 9-foot-long female gator attacked and severely injured him, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
Charlie Shannon said he was walking with his dog at the park when he came across the victim and was able to “muscle him out of the water,” Tequesta’s WPBF reported.
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“I heard some yelling but I didn’t know what it was I thought it was just kids or something who knows but then when I got there I saw it was a pretty serious situation,” Shannon said.
After pulling him out, Shannon said he used his dog’s leash as a tourniquet to control the bleeding from a wound in the man’s leg, according to the station.
“I just held it tight without trying to cut off the blood too much, because you have to be careful with that, I guess,” Shannon added.
Rescue workers secured the scene and drove the victim more than a mile to a medical helicopter, according to authorities. He was airlifted to a medical center in Fort Pierce with “traumatic” injuries, Fire Rescue official Shawn Lisowy said, according to TCPalm.
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Trapper John Davidson was able to locate and trap the gator following the attack, the sheriff’s office said. Davidson said the alligator is being relocated to a farm near Fort Drum, the outlet reported.
An investigation into the attack is being led by officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
According to the FWC, there were 12 incidents of alligators biting people in Florida last year.
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Stuart is about 110 miles north of Miami.