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from Fox News Channel


Florida Woman Loses Part of Arm to Alligator Attack

Monday, February 24, 2003

ENGLEWOOD, Florida  — A 70-year-old woman who lost part of her right arm in an alligator attack was in fair condition Monday, hospital officials said.

An 8-foot-3-inch-long alligator latched onto Helena Couto's arm, just above the elbow, as she was trimming brush behind at the edge of the pond near her home Sunday, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Lt. Jeff Hudson.

Hudson did not know how far the pond was from Couto's home.

The alligator dragged her partially into the pond, but two neighbors were able to pull her away, he said.

"They heard her scream, and that's when they saw the alligator had a hold of her," Hudson said.

A sheriff's deputy shot and killed the alligator, which lived in the pond, said Charlotte County Sheriff's Office spokesman Robert Carpenter.

Carpenter said that commission officials retrieved the arm Sunday and transported it to Englewood Community Hospital before it was flown to Tampa General Hospital, where Couto was awaiting surgery.

Hospital spokeswoman Ellen Fiss said Monday she could not discuss whether the reattachment surgery was successful. Hudson and Carpenter did not know if the surgery was successful.

© Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2003 Standard & Poor's

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