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There are many people who would say reality TV is fun to watch and a whole other camp that would say the genre is a waste of time. However, there usually is not much of an opinion that reality television can save a person’s life. For 17-year-old Kaleb “Fred” Langdale, reality TV did prove to save his life, and he is very happy it did.
On Monday, Langdale was spending time in Florida’s Caloosahatchee River when he was bitten by an 800 pound alligator who caught him by the right arm. Instead of panicking and potentially losing his life to the angry gator, the young man calmly used procedures he had seen on reality television to grab the soft flesh on the alligator's gullet and keep it at bay until he could get away from the creature. The young man eventually lost his arm but kept his life. However, he told Today he was simply more worried about his friends.
“I was more concerned about them than I was me because I knew somewhat what to do. If I knew everything…I’d probably still have my arm, but I knew a little bit what to do and I don’t know if they could’ve handled it or not. I was just telling them to get out of the water when the gator had me.’’
Apparently, History’s Swamp People and similar shows do have a purpose other than entertainment. So, next time you are swimming in a lake or river during alligator mating season, make sure to think about the survival skills contributed by shows filming in the wild. You never know when you may need them to save your own hide.