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Swimmer Loses Arm After Alligator Attack in Florida

The 37-year-old was grabbed and pulled under while swimming in the Wekiva River north of Orlando, and a hunt is on for the animal.
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A woman in Florida lost part of her arm after she was attacked by an alligator while swimming in an Orlando-area river Saturday, officials said.

The attack happened in the Wekiva River, which was crowded with swimmers, at around 3:30 p.m.

The woman swam to a slightly more secluded area and was attacked, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson Karen Parker said.

The 37-year-old woman told investigators that something grabbed her arm and pulled her under, Parker said. A person canoeing heard the woman’s cries and brought her to shore, Parker said.

The woman was taken to Orlando Medical Center and lost her right arm below the elbow, Parker said. She had no other major injuries, Parker said.

A witness told NBC station WESH that "it was very scary … her arm was gone and there was blood everywhere.” The woman does not have any other serious injuries, Parker said.

The alligator has not been found, but officials are looking for it. It will be killed once found, Parker said.

Alligator attacks are not unheard of in Florida, and have happened in the Wekiva River before, Parker said. The river runs north of Orlando.

Twelve people were bitten by alligators in Florida in 2013, and seven of those cases were deemed "major," according to state statistics. The last fatality from an alligator bite in Florida was in 2007.