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You’re staring death in the eye - do you choose fight or flight?
When he was attacked by an alligator, a 17-year-old from Florida kept his cool and actually managed to do both.
Kaleb Langdale was swimming with friends in the Caloosahatchee River near Moore Haven, Florida when an alligator lunged at him and clamped down on his arm.
As the gator started a death roll, Kaleb knew that he was in trouble. After the roll, he saw that his lower arm was broken, but still attached to his elbow by a tendon. He realized he had to give up the limb in order to escape.
"If I could break my arm off I had a chance. If I couldn't break my arm off, I was dead," he told The Palm Beach Post. When the alligator began to roll again, Kaleb kicked off against the animal and escaped, leaving half of his arm behind.
If you haven’t fainted by this point in the story,congratulations, and gear up for round two.
Using survival techniques that he apparently learned about on the hit TV show Swamp People, Kaleb slowed the bleeding by squeezing his arm between his legs. When he tried to stand up out of the water, however, he fell onto a cactus. He then used spider webs to further slow the bleeding until paramedics arrived.
The 11-foot reptile was later hunted down and killed. The arm was retrieved from the alligator’s stomach, but doctors were unable to reattach it.
The attack was unprovoked, but not wholly unexpected. According to the AP, alligators are more active this time of year because it's their mating season, which makes them more aggressive and inquisitive as they're looking for food and for mates.
"This is an active time of year for them, but it's not something that should cause alarm to people," Florida Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Carli Segelson told WBPF.com. "We just need people to be aware."
All in all, Kaleb is doing quite well, although he admitted to wanting a little retribution. In an interview with Fox News, Kaleb said "I'm going to use it for a prosthetic armrest. I want his head."
Most people wouldn’t be able to think clearly enough to get themselves out of such a situation, but Kaleb has shown how important it is to stay calm and focused during an emergency.
Tell us, what’s the scariest situation you’ve ever had to escape from? How did you do it?