A Florida teen whose head was grabbed by an alligator and dragged under water managed to fight off the gator and make it to safety.
Andrew Hudson, 17, of Winter Springs, was out swimming with friends at Little Big Econ State Park in Geneva, Fla., on Monday when he thought he kicked a log in the water. But moments later, Hudson was fighting to get his head out of the clenches of a 10-foot-long alligator's jaws.
"It came from behind, got his head and dragged him under," his friend Mark O'Shea told ABC News' Orlando, Fla., affiliate WFTV-TV.
Hudson was able to fight off the alligator, whose bites left puncture marks on the left side of his head, and make it back to shore. O'Shea then ran to get help for Hudson, who was covered in blood, WFTV-TV reported.
"He had blood from the top of his head all the way down," O'Shea said. "I told him to take his shorts off and put them on the top of his head to stop the bleeding."
Seminole County Fire officials took Hudson to South Seminole Hospital in Longwood, Fla., where he was treated for lacerations and puncture wounds.
Dr. Jeremy Williams, an emergency medicine practitioner who treated Hudson, told ABCNews.com that Hudson needed 15 staples on his scalp and 20 stitches for the wounds on his back and his face, but he was not traumatized from the attack.
"He had one puncture wound to his upper back. Then, he had more lacerations to his scalp and across his face, extending from his hairline to his eyebrow," Williams said.
Hudson was discharged from the hospital later that day.
Hudson's mother, Allison Hudson, told ABCNews.com that her son was handling things well because the attack didn't compare to the boating accident he was in nearly two years ago.
"He was run over and cut by the propeller [of the boat] and was in intensive care for 10 days," she said. "For me and him, nothing is going to be as bad as the boat. We're very, very lucky."
The alligator retreated back into the water after the attack. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's Northeast Region spokeswoman Joy Hill told ABCNews.com that it is sending out a trapper to the state park to capture and harvest the animal for its meat and skin.
"The area where this occurred is an area where people swim, kayak and canoe. If you have an alligator that bold in that sort of an area, it's a good idea to get it out of there," Hill said. "Unfortunately, it ended up biting this person first."
Hill said Hudson did the right thing by grappling with the alligator.
"There is something very important about fighting it off," she said. "They are not going to be taken easily. But he's an able-bodied young man. He fought it and won."