Alligator chomps bloke’s hand off in ‘almost fatal’ attack but medics save arm

An alligator expert has had his right hand chewed off by the very animal he cares for in a savage attack which could have been deadly.

Greg Graziani feared most of his right arm would be amputated after a reptile sank its razor sharp teeth into it, but medics remarkably saved all but his hand following a nightmare encounter.

As the wildlife director at Florida Gator Gardens, US, Greg knows all too well the danger of alligators, not least because he previously survived an attack in 2013.

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On Wednesday, August 24, Greg was rushed to Tampa General Hospital with an extreme injury that left his hand connected by just a single tendon and some muscle that the surgeon had to first untwist six times.

Florida Gator Gardens has heaped praise on everyone at the hospital who clubbed together to re-attach more of Greg's arm than they had been able to dream of.

Over nine hours of creating new vessels for blood flow, and putting in plates to hold the bone fragments together, much of the arm was re-attached.

The tourist attraction posted on Facebook: "Needless to say, we were fully expecting an amputation from the moment after impact. Even heading into surgery, we were scheduled for the full amputation.

"Our surgeon and his team were amazing and felt that with Greg’s health and the nerves still being preserved, we at least had a chance."

The Gardens explained that Greg's strict healthy diet probably had a role in his body being able to cope with the surgery.

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The post continued: "We had a constant flow of nurses checking pulses and wrangling leeches. We pumped blood in, leeches kept it pumping out, and we anxiously waited.

"As great as it would have been to preserve the hand, we are thrilled to finally have a date to go home next week and move forward with all of the amazing projects we have been pouring our hearts into these last couple of years.

"The amputation surgery was performed last night with a below the elbow amputation preserving half of his forearm.

"They performed a procedure to reroute the nerves from the amputated limb in such a way that helps eliminates phantom pain and offers the option for prosthetics at very top of technological advancements and innovations."

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The Gardens also thanked followers, friends and family for their support since the harrowing ordeal which they say Greg signed up for risking when he took on a job working with such powerful animals.

"We are so incredibly grateful for this outcome," they added. "Any time you work with animals, there is always a risk. That is something Greg and the people who love him have always accepted."

The alligator involved was uninjured and will remain as a "valued member of the zoo".

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