Rotonda West alligator attack victim to keep gator’s head

ROTONDA WEST, Fla. A 51-year-old man bitten in the arm by an alligator on July 7 will be able to keep the alligator’s head.

The first thing Scott Lahodik asked for when he woke up at Lee Memorial Hospital after the attack at the Rotonda Golf & Country Club was if he could keep the head as a trophy, his daughter, Kaelin Lahodik said.

Scott Lahodik, left, with his daughter,

“My dad really wanted to keep it because he wanted something to show the gator he fought off,” Kaelin said. “He wanted a trophy, so we called the trapper that caught the gator and he said he would donate it to our family so that my dad could have it.”

Mark is recovering from the injury and has about a month left of at-home IVs, Kaelin said. Mark will be meeting with a surgeon on Monday to discuss getting his staples removed.

It will be about a year before he can return to any kind of work, Kaelin said.

Mark won’t be diving anymore, but the alligator’s head will serve as a reminder of the experience.

“He’s really excited about it and he still has a sense of humor,” Kaelin said. “I call him gator bait now and he laughs every time.”

The alligator’s head will go to a taxidermist for preservation and will be delivered to the family in August.

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