A 6-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after an alligator attack on Friday.
The child, Joey Welch, and his father Joseph Welch were preparing for a canoe trip in the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, Florida, when the incident occurred.
When Joey wandered too close to the water, the 8-foot alligator grabbed the young boy by the right arm. Joseph heard his son’s cries for help and quickly jumped into the water to fight off the animal.
"I didn't want to play tug-of-war with the alligator and get his arm ripped off," Welch told WSVN 7. "So I started punching the alligator on top of the head as hard as I could."
A good Samaritan saw what was happening and joined in the rescue, kicking the alligator in the stomach. At that point, the animal released the boy. Joey was taken to a nearby hospital. Miraculously, he sustained only minor injuries.
Authorities later found and killed the aggressive alligator to prevent future incidents.