A Florida wildlife expert lost part of his left arm after an alligator attack earlier this month that left the limb dangling by a single tendon.
Greg Graziani, a staffer at a wildlife park in Venus, was bitten square on the arm during a routine interaction on Aug. 17, according to a Facebook post from Florida Gardens.
Surgeons had to untwist Graziani’s mangled appendage six times during an emergency surgery as they tried to salvage the limb.
“We are SO grateful to have been given the opportunity to try, but Wednesday afternoon it was clear that the hand was simply not able to recover,” the park wrote Friday. “Crushing injuries and avulsions are the hardest injuries to reattach and we had all of it.”
An X-ray of the injury showed the arm bone completely severed in two.
Graziani, who has been working with alligators since age 7, ended up losing his arm below the elbow after a nine-hour surgery last week.
“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,” according to the post, which features a picture of Graziani smiling from his hospital bed.
“Thanks for all the support,” Graziani wrote in a separate post — along with several reptile emojis, including a gator.
The wildlife enthusiast, 53, nearly lost his other arm after a 2013 gator bite that needed 18 months to fully heal.
“Any time you work with animals, there is always a risk,” the park wrote. “That is something Greg and the people who love him have always accepted. This incident could have just as easily been a fatal tragedy.”
The facility did not detail the attack.