Published July 10, 2012
A spunky 17-year-old who had his right arm partially torn from his body during a vicious alligator attack, told FoxNews.com that he wants the alligator’s head.
"I'm going to use it for a prosthetic armrest," Kaleb Langdale said in an exclusive interview. “I want his head."
The Florida teen lost his right arm below the elbow Monday night during an alligator attack. He said he survived by offering the 11-foot alligator his arm, and used the skills he learned by watching TV shows like "Swamp People" to survive the brutal attack.
"I'm glad the alligator attacked me, because if it was any of my friends, they probably would have died," he said.
Langdale said the alligator lunged at him as he tried to swim away on the Caloosahatchee River near Moore Haven. He felt the pressure of the alligator clamping down on his arm and knew the alligator had a locked grip when it started to perform a death roll. Bones cracked like twigs and all that remained of his arm was what he described as a dangling tendon.
"I still couldn't break free because I was still attached to the tendon," he said. "Then the gator did another death roll and I kicked my way out of it."
Gary Beck, a friend, said Langdale popped out of the water, screaming "call the paramedics, my arm is gone."
Langdale, who said adrenaline was flowing, managed to get to the other side of the river. His friends called 911 and he stanched the bleeding by squeezing what was left of his arm between his legs. He said when he tried to walk, he fell into a cactus.
"It was there that I found spider webs that I also used to stop the bleeding,” he said. “I kept telling myself that people die when they start hyperventilating. So I kept telling myself to breath.”
He said rescuers were at the scene within minutes. He was rushed to a Fort Myers hospital, but the arm couldn't be reattached.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino told Fox News the teen's arm was still inside the 11-foot alligator when it was hunted down and killed Monday evening.
Officials say it's alligator mating season and attacks are not uncommon.
Felinda Langdale, the teen’s mother, told FoxNews.com that she was devastated when she found out about the attack. She said her son is staying positive about the situation and said he gets his perseverance from her.
"He could have lost his life," she said. "Half an arm is nothing."
Langdale, meanwhile, said he hopes to track down the alligator trapper and make an arrangement to receive its head.
"You can't do this to me and get away with it," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report