Gator that tore off woman's arm caught, killed
Trappers bring out a dead gator from the canal. FWC believes this is the gator that attacked the woman.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers believe they have the gator that attacked an elderly Lake County woman.
Carol Huff, 84, was standing on her back deck at her home on Hubbard Street when she fell into the canal around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday.
Officers said she was attacked by an 8-foot alligator.
Huff's neighbor, Del Zickefoose, was drinking his morning coffee when he saw the woman in distress in the water.
Zickefoose jumped in, pulled her to safety and held her until emergency responders arrived.
"As I was bringing her to the shore, I noticed her arm was gone," said Zickefoose. "Completely gone. It was just flesh hanging, and pieces of bone hanging out the side. I was at the right place, the right person at the right time. Another five minutes, and she would have been gone."
He said he didn't realize it was an alligator that attacked her until she repeated the word gator to him.
Deputies said many homes in the community have water behind them, and alligators are seen every day in the canal.
"They're there every day, up and down the canal. They're just part of the community," said Mary Weaver, who lives nearby. "There's nothing to be afraid of, but sometimes accidents happen."
FWC officers said they recovered parts of her arm, but some is still missing.
Officers say a necropsy of the dead gator found none of the woman's arm, but they did find pieces of hamburger, which proves someone was feeding the animal.
That's against the law in Florida, because gators will lose their fear of humans.
Even though they did not find any part of Huff's arm inside the gator, they believe this animal attacked her.
FWC said alligator attacks are rare, but do happen.
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