Alligator Chomps Down on Free Diver’s Skull in Florida River

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Jeffrey Heim was searching for fossils on the bottom of the Myakka River when the gator attacked

A Florida man was free diving in the Myakka River in search of fossilized shark teeth when a predator that has remained relatively unchanged from its own prehistoric ancestors clamped down on his head with its powerful jaws.

According to Fox News, Jeffrey Heim was coming up for air during his free dive when an alligator attacked him. Fortunately, after biting down on Heim’s head twice, the alligator let go, giving him an opportunity to escape. Heim made it back to shore, where he called for help.

Heim said the way people reacted to his injuries was frightening.

“It’s very scary when you ask someone, ‘am I going to be ok?’ and they hesitate,” he told Fox News. “And they just reassure you and you can hear it in their voice that it’s worse than what they’re telling you. That’s scary.”

Heim suffered a fractured skull and had to get 34 staples.

He says although he loves searching the bottom of the river for fossils, he now has a different perspective.

“Your life is worth more than any shark tooth or whatever that is for you. Whatever you enjoy.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation is trying to locate the alligator but so far has been unsuccessful.

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