An 84-year-old woman, whose name has not yet been released, was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center after she was found bleeding in a canal from an apparent alligator attack, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
The alligator apparently ripped her arm off in the attack.
A man found the woman about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday near a Leesburg-area mobile home park along a canal that runs off U.S. Highway 27.
State wildlife officials have not confirmed an alligator is actually responsible for the attack, but the canal the woman was found in is connected to Lake Harris, which is filled with the animals.
The woman's condition is not known at this time.
According to Lake Country Sheriff's spokesman, Sgt. Jim Vachon, the man who found her was walking around his Hubbard Street home when he spotted the woman bleeding in the canal.
He immediately jumped into the water but could not lift the woman out. He stayed with her in the canal until emergency personnel arrived.
The size of the gator is not known, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.
This marks at least the third reported alligator attack in the past year, although none has been fatal thus far.
Last June, a man was attacked by an alligator while snorkeling with his son in Wekiwa Springs State Park.
This July, a 17-year-old had his arm bitten off at the elbow by a ten-foot alligator while he swam in the Caloosahatchee River west of Lake Okeechobee.
A few weeks ago, a man pulled a dog out of the jaws of a seven-footer near his retirement community in Leesburg.
So either the alligators are rising up in revolt against the humans and their pets... or perhaps people and their pets shouldn't be swimming in alligator-infested waters. We're no animal scientists, but that's our theory.
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