A Florida alligator has paid the ultimate price after an attack that claimed a woman's arm in the Wekiva River on Saturday. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation says Spanish teacher Rachael Lilienthal, 37, was swimming away from a crowded beach area near Wekiva Island when a gator bit her on the back, stomach, and right arm, which was severed above the elbow, report WKMG and WFTV. She was able to get away when a kayaker hit the alligator with a paddle, reports ABC News. She was then rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where she went into surgery, but her current condition is not known.
A FWC rep says Lilienthal was swimming in a quiet, wooded area when she felt something grab her, pull her beneath the water, and sever her arm. "We heard the people come up and say, 'Get a boat. Call 911 because someone has been bit by a gator,'" says a witness, adding Lilienthal emerged from the water bloody and naked. "The gator had her bathing suit in its mouth," she tells WESH. Authorities found and killed the gator early yesterday, noting "evidence" in its stomach confirmed it was the one that attacked Lilienthal. It was almost 9 feet long and weighed more than 300 pounds. (This man scoffed at gators, then was killed by one.)