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True Story Behind Vicious Gator Attack on Golf Course

This set of photographs are going viral again, and they are 100% real. But, the story is wrong. They have been linked to an October 2009 incident in which a 10-foot alligator bit off the arm of a 77-year-old South Carolina golfer as the latter leaned over to retrieve his ball at a pond on the Ocean Creek Golf Course.

The true story is that Bill Hedden, a 59-year-old snorkeler, lost his arm to a 12-foot gator at Lake Moultrie in South Carolina in 2007.


From the and verified by Snopes: They were feasting on roast pork and dancing the Macarena while picnicking at Lake Moultrie on Sunday afternoon when a man in snorkel gear stumbled through the tree line, grasping at his left shoulder where his arm used to be.

Blood gushed from between his fingers.

‘Call my wife, call my wife,’ the man said through a snorkel mask.


Five nurses who were among those at the gathering quickly laid the man on the ground. They put ice on his wound, instructed him to take deep breaths and told him stories to keep him awake.

One of the picknickers, Jerome Bien, traced the bloody trail through the tree line and to the shore where he saw a pool of blood in the sand. About 25 feet out in the water in front of him, the eyes of a giant alligator stared back. The victim’s arm remained clenched in its jaws.

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Officers from the state’s Department of Natural Resources shot the 550-pound reptile, cut it open, and removed Hedden’s arm from its stomach, then placed the limb in a picnic cooler and rushed it to the hospital with a police escort. Doctors decided against attempting to reattach the arm, however.

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