Florida man describes gator attack that left him with 1 arm

A man describes the moment he was attacked by a gator in Sarasota County.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. – We’re now hearing from a Florida man who survived an alligator attack, but lost his arm in the process.

Eric Merda, 43, was attacked by an alligator around 10 p.m. July 17 while swimming across a lake in Sarasota County.

According to ABC 7, Merda was near the Fish Camp in Myakka City and got lost in the swamp area when he decided to try and swim to safe land and get back to his vehicle.

That’s when he got attacked by the gator.

“I grabbed her. I didn’t want her rolling over on me because I already knew about that,” he said. “She snapped my arm backwards and then she drug me under. I still got my arm on her, she’s got her teeth on me and I just kicked like heck.”

Merda eventually made his way out of the swamp, but he wasn’t found for three days.

He then spent nearly three weeks in the hospital.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there have been 22 reported gator-bite incidents so far this year. That’s up from 21 reports last year.