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Golfer loses lower arm to alligator

Sat., Oct. 10, 2009

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – A 77-year-old man lost his arm below the elbow when he was attacked by an alligator while playing golf on Fripp Island.

The man, the father of a Fripp Island property owner, was playing on the island’s Ocean Creek Golf Course on Thursday when the attack occurred. The victim was leaning down to pick up his ball when a 10-foot-long alligator grabbed his arm, said Kate Hines, general manager of the Fripp Island Property Owners Association.

Hines said the alligator dragged the man into a nearby pond and went into a series of “death rolls,” a technique the reptile uses to tear apart its food. The man lost his arm in the struggle.

The man’s golf buddies were able to free him from the alligator’s grasp and called 911.

The victim was taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

Wildlife control workers killed the alligator and performed a necropsy at the scene to remove the man’s arm from the animal’s digestive track, Hines said.

The arm was stored in a cooler in the hopes of re-attaching it.


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