An alligator that attacked a female swimmer in central Florida on 8 August was captured and euthanized on 9 August, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Karen Parker said. The 8-foot 9-inch alligator attacked 37-year-old Rachael Lilienthal as she was swimming in the Wekiva River, biting her arm twice and severing it below the elbow. Lilienthal was rescued by kayakers who hit the alligator with a paddle and brought her to the marina so she could get first aid from Seminole County deputies.
Eyewitness Richard Ward told the Orlando Sentinel, "You just saw some blood and some bone. There wasn't anything else there." Lilienthal was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for treatment. According to the Associated Press, Parker said doctors were not able to reattach Lilienthal's arm because too much time had passed. Her condition remains unknown.
Jakob Frick, who was canoeing with friends, witnessed the attack on Lilienthal. Frick told the Orlando Sentinel they attempted to warn her to get out of the water when the gator attacked. "We see the jaws just chomp down on her arm, and it starts spinning around, pulls her underwater, goes back up. She's just screaming." He said when he and his friends rushed over to help, "Her arm was gone."
Parker said wildlife officers managed to capture the 300- to 350-pound alligator hours later, at around 12:25am on 9 August. It was later euthanized. According to the Orlando Sentinel, officials are investigating the attack. "I can understand why people are worried. To go out swimming and have something bite you, that is like a nightmare scenario," Parker told the AP.