Man Survives Alligator Attack on Florida Golf Course

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A Tennessee man survived an attack by an alligator while retrieving a golf ball at a Florida golf course Monday.

Bruce Burger, of Lenore City, Tenn., reached into a pond at the sixth hole of Lake Venice Golf Club Monday afternoon when the alligator apparently grabbed his right forearm Course Manager Rod Parry told

“He didn’t see the gator,” Parry said. “Obviously, the gator reacted to what he probably thought was some kind of food.”

The alligator latched onto Burger's right forearm and pulled him in the pond, said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He used his left arm to beat on the reptile until it freed him.

Parry said the man reportedly called for help and a lady came, got in his golf cart and took him to the clubhouse.

"I saw him reach down to get his ball and he yelled ... 'Help. Help. I've been bitten by a gator,"' said Janet Pallo, who was playing the fifth hole and ran over to take the man to the clubhouse.

A compress was held directly on Burger’s wound until paramedics arrived.

Burger had puncture wounds on his right forearm as well as a strained groin from the attack. Parry said when medical personnel arrived, Burger was placed on a gurney and transported to a local hospital.

"We hope he’s doing pretty well,” he told

Morse said the gator measured 10 feet, 11 inches.

Parry said it took officers around an hour and 20 minutes to bait the gator before taking him away. He was unsure if the gator was one-eyed, but did say he was told it was blind in one eye.

Parry said course employees recalled another time when a golfer had been attacked on the course. The golfer’s shoe was punctured when an alligator bit his foot while retrieving a ball at the same pond where Burger was bitten.

The pond at the sixth hole has a "Beware of Alligator" sign posted because the staff is aware that a large alligator likes to hang out there.

"Unfortunately, that's part of Florida," Parry said. "There's wildlife in these ponds."

The Associated Press contributed to this report