A Florida teenager thought he kicked a log while swimming in a Florida state park, but he was mistaken. He had in fact disturbed a nearly 10-foot long alligator.
Andrew Hudson, 17, of Winter Springs, Fla., tried to swim as fast as he could before he was attacked by an alligator that bit him on his head. Hudson managed to make it to shore, where he was eventually treated at a nearby hospital, Central Florida's WFTV.com reports.
"He kicked and started punching the gator," Mark O'Shea, a witness, told WFTV. "That's what he told me [happened] when he was under the water."
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Hudson said the alligator came from behind and pulled him underwater. "It just came up behind me. I didn't see one all day in there and then it just came up behind me and I felt it and I started freaking out and swam as fast as I could," he told the Associated Press.
The attack took place Monday at Little Big Econ State Forest in Geneva, Fla. Hudson told Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators that he was aware of alligators in the park’s rivers but had never seen one before.
Hudson was transported to a Seminole County hospital, where he was treated for puncture wounds on his head, AP reports. On the scene, paramedics helped bandage Hudson’s head.
"They looked at me like I was crazy. I'm like, 'My friend really got bit by an alligator,'" O'Shea said.
When alligators attack, they tend to latch onto their prey and initiate a “death roll” in an attempt to drown their target. Discovery News suggests if the attack takes place on land, to run and in water, to fight back.
"It could have been a lot worse than what it was," O'Shea said, about Hudson’s attack. "He has some luck on him."