Terrifying drone footage has emerged of the moment a 12-foot alligator chomped down on a man's head, leaving him with significant injuries.
The clip, which was captured during an attempt at filming a promotion video for an upcoming race, shows triathlete Juan Carlos La Verde going swimming off a dock at Lake Thonotosassa near Tampa, Florida — blissfully unaware of the monster in his path.
But when they met, the 34-year-old certainly knew about it as it gripped its jaw around his head in a vicious attempt to kill him.
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Footage shows appear to show a struggle with some intense splashing going on in the water before the ex-member of the United States Air Force Pararescue managed to make a break for it and get to the shore.
Juan has since opened up about the incident as he declares it to be a "miracle" that he survived and managed to call 911 despite after his face had been bitten off.
Speaking to WFTS-TV Tampa, he said: “With the right stroke, all I felt was scales, teeth and then right there I’m like okay.
"So, what I think I did, what I felt like I did, was that I immediately tried to open its jaws because I knew I was in a gator."
The drone pilot had allegedly heard the bloke scream but didn't know what had occurred at the time.
La Verde had a six-hour surgery at Tampa General Hospital to repair and reconstruct damage to his skull, according to a GoFundMe set up for him.
He has a puncture to his brain, no bones on the right side of his head and his jaw will remain wired almost shut for the next few weeks until he has more corrective surgery.
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Despite the horrific ordeal, he insists that he is "perfectly fine" now and that the incident has given him a new outlook on life.
He added: "I am perfectly fine. I am actually even better because this gave me a new perspective, you know, and not many people get that."
His friends and family, including his wife Christine, have been staying by his side during his recovery.
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