Florida man attacked by 8-foot alligator while walking dog in backyard

Gators - Five Fast Facts

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Florida man was bitten by a more than 8-foot alligator while he was walking his dog in his backyard over the weekend.

Mark Johnson, 61, was attacked around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday while he was walking his dog Rex, WPEC reported.

“I kind of slide and my foot is stuck in the mud, and the next thing I know, I see the lunge,” Johnson told WPTV. “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.”

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Johnson said the reptile tried to pull him under but let go when he gouged its eye. He was taken to a hospital where he received more than 60 stitches to his leg and 5 to his right hand. He was then released, WPEC reported.

Trappers caught the alligator Wednesday, WPEC reported.

“When your whole leg is in the jaws of a gator, you’re not thinking size, you’re thinking survival. I knew he was bigger than me,” he told WPEC. “Well, the realization hit me today at how lucky I was, He was 8-foot-6.” It’s really hitting me now at how fortunate I am, 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."