52ºF

Alligator handler bitten by gator at Miccosukee Indian Village

Victim says both hands were stuck in gator's mouth for about 10 minutes

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – An alligator bit a gator handler Monday afternoon at Miccosukee Indian Village, authorities said.

The victim, John Kyle Osceola, was bitten by the 6-foot, 200-pound gator on both hands around 1:30 p.m., he told reporters. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said the victim was taken by ground to Kendall Regional Medical Center. Authorities said he appeared to be in good spirits. 

photo

Osceola told Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez that his hands were stuck in the gator's mouth for about 10 minutes.

He said he likely read the gator wrong and told 15 spectators who were watching the incident unfold to remain calm as he tried to figure out how to free his hands. 

According to Osceola, someone eventually got a pole and gently opened the gator's mouth enough for him to slip his hands out. 

"It was definitely surreal. It felt like a million years, to be honest," Osceola said. "Like I said, no one really tells you what to think or what to do, you know?"

Osceola suffered 12 bite marks to his hands, but luckily did not need stitches and was released from the hospital rather quickly. 

photo

Osceola said he has been a performer at the tourist attraction for just over a year and his family members have also been gator handlers for years. 

Osceola said the gator who attacked him is named Spike. 

A Miccosukee representative declined to comment on the incident. 

photo

About the Authors: