relic hunter attacked by alligator

dognose

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OK not an Native American Relic collector but there is a lesson here.


'I was inside its mouth': Florida man attacked by alligator while swimming in river
The 25-year-old man was hunting for prehistoric shark teeth and says it's a miracle he's even alive.
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June 3, 2021, 7:15 PM EDT
By Hayley Vaughn
A 25-year-old Florida man is recovering after being attacked by an alligator while he was searching for prehistoric shark teeth in a river last weekend.


Tampa resident Jeffrey Heim was searching for megalodon shark teeth in the Myakka River and was only in the water for a few minutes when he was hit with such force that he thought it was a boat, he told NBC News.


?I thought it was a propeller, it hit me so hard,? Heim said. "I realized I was inside it's mouth and if the alligator hadn't decided to let me go on its own, there was nothing I could have done to fight it."


He thinks the alligator that attacked him was about 9 feet long and likely a female, possibly looking to protect her eggs.


Last month, Florida wildlife experts warned people to take increased caution over the next couple of months as alligator mating season began in May and continues through the summer.


Following the attack, Heim was left with 34 stitches in his head, a minor skull fracture and bite marks on one of his hands, and because of swelling in his head, he is still unable to open his left eye. Doctors told Heim that he does not have any brain damage from the attack and is expected to make a full recovery.


Both his doctors and Heim agreed that his ability to come out on the other side of this attack alive and without more severe injuries is a miracle.


?If it would have got me anywhere else, it could have been a different story. The chance of me walking away from that is why it is a miracle,? said Heim.


Wildlife officials urge people in areas where alligators may be common to be careful and pay close attention when spending time around fresh or brackish water, according to NBC Tampa affiliate WFLA. Wildlife officials say people should only swim during daylight hours and within posted swimming areas and that children should be closely supervised.


Heim collects shark teeth as a hobby and has since turned his affinity for sharks into a business called SHRKco. Although he swears that he won't return to the river where the attack happened, Heim says he'll be back to diving for teeth as soon as he's able to do it again.


"After this, I definitely have a new respect for wild animals in their habitat. I don't hold the gator at fault, and I hope that if they are able to find it, that they let it live and don't kill it," Heim said.


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-new...florida-man-attacked-alligator-while-n1269508
 

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Sam Holden

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Wow poor guy :o
 

Treasure_Hunter

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Dumb ass, it is gator mating season, they are very aggressive this time of year.
 

smokeythecat

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And let me guess he was alone?
 

Blak bart

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Were buddies on instagram....he's a good hunter and does well with his teeth on the market...he has a clothing line too. He sperfishises in the keys sometimes. They went back today to try and find the gopro he was wearing...hoping they can find it with the attack footage. He's tough...he'll live !! I told him he burnt 8 of his nine lives up real quick !!
 

Blak bart

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And let me guess he was alone?

I'll ask him smokey, but I'm pretty sure they hunt in teams of 2. I've never seen him get a monster tooth but some of these guys get the absolute biggest you'll see....they hunt all over !!
 

smokeythecat

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I personally have not gone on some hunts because I'd be out in the middle of nowhere by myself. Cell phones don't always help.
 

smokeythecat

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I'm not particularly fond of the weather, lightning and monsters that live in Florida. We have an occasional copperhead here (haven't actually seen one in 30 year), and black widow spiders and bees. No gators, no moccasins, no fire ants, no killer bees (especially the ones from Saturday Night Live), no boas, rattlers only in the wilds, basically fewer smokeythecat chompers.
 

Megalodon

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Heck of a way to earn a new nickname like "Gator Bait".
 

newnan man

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Even with a partner he's taking a big chance just to find teeth. The Myakka River is literally infested with large gators. A very wild river in a beautiful state park.
 

tomclark

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I have gone diving for fossils in SO MANY Florida rivers and creeks but I would NEVER dive or snorkel the Myakka. One time I saw a small gator that looked dead in a pile of brush in the water. Stupidly I touched the tail and WHAM! it turned it's head on me, missing my hand and took off. Big gators lie on the bottom of rivers where the currrent is slower and we pass over them when floating downriver... I am much more afraid of Bull Sharks where I was diving near the mouths of creeks and rivers... Also don't like cottonmouths and water snakes...they come after you!!!
 

newnan man

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When I lived in Tallahassee a college student was diving in Wakulla Springs River. Big mistake as the gators there are huge abd with all the tourists have no fear of people. A 12' gator killed him as he swam by it in the lush grass.
 

Blak bart

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I chatted with him this AM....He's eager to heal and get back at it. If you guys even new how many times I've been startled by a shark sneaking up on me in the water you would probably never get in !! Its a cold hard fact that if you get in enough your gonna have an encounter !! Florida is no joke and blackwater diving is a challenge in its own right....and thats not counting the 1 in a million chance of an attack. Its not for the faint of heart !! Last time I was harassed by a small bonnet head....I actually trapped him and caught him with my bare hands....of coarse no one was there to see it and so all I get is unbelieving looks from the people I tell !! Odds of getting struck by lightning or bit by a shark are almost impossible is what THEY say....if you work on a commercial shark boat in tropical weather...well....your odds get much better for both to happen !! He'll be right back at it...and he'll be selling his finds and making jewelry still too....its what he does !!
 

smokeythecat

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He can keep my share. I'm too old and chicken to go in waters like that. Even at relatively "safe" beaches like in Maryland and Delaware, at least one person dies every year in the one DE state park there. I was talking to a ranger one day and he was telling me about it. Said sneaker waves come in and snag a fisherman off the jetties and the water is so swift at the one place and the rip tides so bad, they are never heard from again. And that's on a day 30 people are standing nearby. I have personally seen swimmers on more than one occasion come out of the water carried by others all bloodied either from underwater wreckage or critters.
 

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