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Florida wildlife expert Greg Graziani loses part of arm in alligator attack

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A Florida wildlife expert lost part of his left arm after an alligator attack earlier this month, leaving the limb dangling from a single tendon.

Greg Graziani, an employee of a wildlife park in Venus, was bitten squarely in the arm on Aug. 17 during a routine interaction, according to a Facebook message from Florida Gardens.

Surgeons had to unscrew Graziani’s mutilated appendage six times during emergency surgery while trying to save the limb.

“We are SO thankful to have had the chance to try it, but by Wednesday afternoon it was clear that the hand just couldn’t recover,” the park wrote on Friday. “Crushing injuries and avulsions are the most difficult injuries to reattach and we all had it.”

An X-ray of the injury showed that the arm bone was completely broken in two.

Graziani, who has worked with alligators since he was seven, lost his arm below the elbow last week after a nine-hour operation.

Florida wildlife expert Greg Graziani is recovering in hospital after being attacked by an alligator.
Florida Gator Gardens/Facebook

“They performed a procedure to reroute the nerves of the amputated limb in a way that helps eliminate phantom pain and opens up the possibility for prosthetics,” the post said, featuring a photo of Graziani smiling from his hospital bed.

“Thanks for all the support,” Graziani wrote in a separate post — along with several reptile emojis, including an alligator.

The 53-year-old wildlife enthusiast nearly lost his other arm after an alligator bite in 2013 that took 18 months to fully heal.

People who help Greg Graziani after being attacked.
Humans help Graziani moments after the alligator attack.

An X-ray of Greg Graziani's broken wrist.
An X-ray showed the aftermath of Graziani’s arm bone after the attack.

“Anytime you work with animals there is always a risk,” the park wrote. “That’s something Greg and the people who love him have always accepted. This incident might as well have been a fatal tragedy.”

The facility gave no details about the attack.

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