A 61-year-old man has fought off an eight-foot alligator which he believes was trying to drag him into the water while he walked his dog.
Mark Johnson, from St Lucie County in the US state of Florida, told Local 10 News he was walking his dog Rex near a canal on Sunday about 9.30am (local time) when he got stuck in some mud.
An alligator then appeared and lunged at his leg.
“He starts clamping down pretty tight and he started to pull, and the next thing I do, I instantly, here’s my fingers, I poke through the eye,” he told Local 10 News.
Mr Johnson managed to fight the predator off, but required 62 stitches in his leg.
A licensed nuisance alligator trapper hired by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told Treasure Coast Newspapers the alligator was 2.62 metres long or eight feet six inches.
“It’s really hitting me now at how fortunate I am,” Mr Johnson told the paper.
“You're talking seconds before a ’gator that size begins his death roll, tearing flesh, you know. That eight to 10 seconds will be burned in my mind the rest of my life."
The alligator was later humanely euthanised.
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