Florida wildlife park manager’s arm was partially reattached following an alligator bite before ultimately being partly amputated again, according to reports.
Greg Graziani, wildlife director of Florida Gator Gardens in Venus, Florida, told the outlet that one the facility’s alligators bit him when a falling leaf triggered the reptile to lunge forward as he was giving it a command. The Aug. 17 injury happened during a normally “routine interaction,” according to the Gardens said in an Aug. 22 Facebook post.
Graziani’s left hand was only attached by one tendon and some muscle following the bite, and the arm was partially amputated before Tampa General Hospital surgeons reattached it, the Florida Gator Gardens noted.
Graziani received surgery again Aug. 25, which ultimately left half his forearm intact, the Florida Gator Gardens announced the next day.
“Greg has worked with reptiles since he was 7 years old. After almost losing his right arm in 2013, he only came back more determined to share his passion for reptiles with the world,” the facility said Aug. 17. “As far as the alligator involved, he was uninjured and will continue to stay here with us as a valued member of the zoo.”
Ganziani said alligators “don’t have vengeance, they work on instinct,” and claimed the bite was not malicious, according to CNN. He expressed motivation to continue working with the reptiles and teaching about them, the outlet reported.
Alligators bit people in Florida without provocation more than 440 times from 1941 to 2021, resulting in over 25 human deaths, the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.