The 12-foot long alligator attacked 59-year-old Bill Heddon and chewed off his arm as he snorkelled on a lake.
Beast: Alligator with the arm which was later taken from its stomach and re-attached to the victimWitnesses raised the alarm and emergency services and officers from the Department of Natural Resource rushed to Lake Moultrie near Charleston, South Carolina.
As medics treated the injured man, officers shot the alligator. When they slit open the alligator's stomach they discovered the limb has been swallowed whole.
Doctors are waiting to see whether the operation to re-attach the arm has been successful.