What started as a typical canoe trip ended in a gator attack for six-year-old Joey Welch in Pembroke, FL on Friday. The young child was with his father at the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, Florida when he wandered over to the water and was attacked by an eight-food alligator. Joey’s father immediately began kicking and punching the alligator to try and get it to release his son’s arm and torso without pulling Joey to avoid having his arm ripped off. Another witness helped the boy’s father by kicking the alligator’s body in attempts of getting it to release Joey. The attempt worked as the alligator released the boy and went back into the water.
Joey was immediately taken to a local hospital with only minor injuries that included a few scratches, but no puncture wounds. Joey’s mother strongly believes that a guardian angel was protecting her son and that he should have lost his arm in the incident.
Experts at the University of Florida say that Joey’s father and the Good Samaritan reacted in the right way and took the right steps, which were key in preventing any serious injuries during the attack. They recommend that alligators are hit in the eyes if attacks occur.
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