According to a sheriff in Louisiana, a U.S. elderly man had his arm torn off by a huge alligator while going through floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ida, and is now missing.
The 71-year-old man’s wife informed the sheriff’s deputies that she heard a disturbance about noon on Monday (local time) and went outside to find the gator attacking her husband in the Slidell suburb of New Orleans, according to a statement from the St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s Captain Lance Vitter told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate that the alligator “had him in a death roll” according to the man’s wife.
The Nine News reports that, according to the lady, the gator tore off the man’s arm and rendered him unconscious.
Her husband had been outdoors wading through floodwaters produced by Hurricane Ida near the couple’s house in the Avery Estates district of Slidell, Louisiana’s St. Tammany Parish, on the northeast coast of Lake Pontchartrain.
In an attempt to halt the attack, the woman stated she instantly went to her husband’s help. The alligator finally stopped biting him, and she told investigators that she rescued her husband from the floodwaters before running inside to get first-aid materials.
When she returned and saw the extent of his injuries, she then climbed into a canoe and paddled to get help to higher ground, about a mile away.
When she returned with the deputies, her husband was no longer on the steps where she had placed him.
The sheriff’s office, which did not name the victim, said they had searched for him with high-water vehicles and boats, “but all efforts have been unsuccessful.”
The sheriff’s office is urging people to be cautious while traveling through flooded areas since animals such as gators, black bears, venomous snakes, and feral pigs may have been displaced and brought closer to homes as a result of Hurricane Ida.
The man’s body has not yet been found, and his name was not publicly disclosed in a report released by the local sheriff’s office