A former Arbroath man has survived a life-or-death struggle with an eight-foot alligator in America.
Doug Brown, 45, who now lives in Florida, was attacked when the beast jumped out of a canal and tried to pull him into the water.
Mr Brown was repairing a water pump behind his mother Doreen’s home near the shore of a lake but ignored her warning about an alligator nearby.
He suffered a four-inch gash on his hand and severed tendons after the gator’s teeth slashed him as he pulled his hand from its jaws.
Only a handful of unprovoked alligator attacks occur every year and experts say what happened to the Angus expat was a one in two-and-a-half million bad luck chance.
“He came out of the water like a torpedo,” said Mr Brown, speaking on American television.
“It was just a big splash. I turned my head and saw a white belly and a big mouth coming towards me.”
Mr Brown said his mother had warned him about the alligator, which was known to hang around in the canal, and shouted when she spotted it about 12 feet from him.
He added the gator quickly ducked under water and he assumed it was leaving the area and he even joked if she wanted him to catch it.
Mr Brown resumed working on the pump until the gator just shot out of nowhere at him. He tried to jump up and turn away but it was too late. The alligator clamped down on his hand and tried to pull him in.
Mr Brown was able to shake the alligator off and it fell back into the water.
He added: “I just had to get my hand out quickly or I was going for a swim. I didn’t even know I was hurt until I looked down and saw a large gash on the back of my hand.
“I’m familiar with alligators…but it’s the last thing I expected it to do.”
The wildlife agency summoned a trapper to the Canal Street site in Tavares to catch it.
The alligator, whom residents said they were well familiar with, swam into a nearby boathouse afterwards.
Residents of the Sunset View neighbourhood apparently used marshmallows to help lure the alligator out of the boathouse.
Wildlife officials were able to use a huge fishing pole to grab a hold of it and a trapper was able to place a noose around its neck and tie it up.
In recent years, a huge increase in the number of alligators and a boom in the development of waterfront properties has brought Florida residents and alligators into close contact with each other.
Alligators are mostly found in freshwater swamps, marshes, rivers and lakes but the increase in the development of homes and golf courses on alligators’ natural swamp habitat has forced them into the canals used by residents for recreation.
While alligators are typically more afraid of humans than humans are of them, this fear tends to subside when people feed them, which is illegal.
One possibility is that the alligators had previously been fed by humans and had begun to associate humans with a source of food.