11-foot gator tried to pull hunter from boat in Brevard County

Man suffers bite to wrist

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – An 11-foot alligator that bit a man who was hunting Saturday night in Brevard County nearly pulled the man off a boat and into the water, according to Florida wildlife officials.

Justin Perchalski, 30, was legally hunting alligators in the Three Forks Marsh conservation area around 8:30 p.m. when he reached down to get a new grip on the hand line as an alligator was hooked alongside the boat, and the reptile bit his right wrist, a report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

The gator tried to pull Perchalski into the water, but the three other watercraft occupants kept him on board. The alligator then released Perchalski's wrist and escaped.

Perchalski's hunting partners applied a tourniquet using a belt and called 911 as they drove the boat to shore to meet first responders. Records show Perchalski's hand was nearly detached.

He was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center and then flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center. His current condition is unknown.

FWC officials issued a statement about the incident.

"The FWC was saddened to hear about this incident and sends well wishes to Mr. Perchalski and his family," they said.

Florida's alligator hunting season runs through Nov. 1. For safety tips, click here.

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