Gators 101: How to stay safe
What to do if you encounter these ...
Alligator Alley and Everglades Boulevard
Two days after an alligator ripped off Tim Delano’s left hand, the 18-year-old Golden Gate Estates man remained in good condition at Lee Memorial Hospital, according to hospital reports.
However, the recorded 911 call placed by Delano himself revealed a painful aftermath following the attack. The Daily News decided against posting the recorded call.
Delano, who recently graduated from Palmetto Ridge High School, was swimming at dusk with friends on Sunday at the Crystal – a popular swimming hole at an Estates canal where Alligator Alley and Everglades Boulevard meet – when he was attacked.
Delano said the gator grabbed him by his hand and pulled him underwater. He punched the predator with his free hand until it finally let go -- sparing Delano’s life, but not his hand.
During the 911 call, Delano’s screams and curses as he calls for help are downright bone-chilling.
“An alligator attacked me,” he told a female dispatcher in the opening seconds of the recorded phone call; his voice seeming to quiver. “It took off my left arm.”
Female voices can also be heard crying in the background.
Later in the recording, during apparent waves of pain, Delano screamed and yelled, “Why me?”
He also told his friend that he loved them.
After the initial call was dropped, presumably from poor reception, the dispatch officer redialed the phone and directed a female friend of Delano’s to drive north toward Golden Gate Boulevard. She instructed them to drive on Golden Gate until they saw an emergency vehicle.
Delano’s voice could still be heard screaming in the background.
Delano and his family declined to be interviewed on Tuesday.
However, Delano will remain at Lee Memorial during rehabilitation, he said on Monday, though he didn’t know for how long.