Woman possibly attacked by alligator in Florida lake, officials say

PHOTO: Lake Hernando in Citrus County, Florida is seen here.PlayGoogle
WATCH Woman possibly attacked by alligator in Florida lake, officials say

A woman has been attacked by a possible alligator in Florida, according to state officials.

The woman was swimming in Lake Hernando in Citrus County around 1 a.m. Wednesday when an alligator clamped onto her left arm and dragged her under water, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said in a statement to ABC News.

PHOTO: Lake Hernando in Citrus County, Florida is seen here. Google
Lake Hernando in Citrus County, Florida is seen here.

The woman -- who is homeless -- was able to fight off the alligator and call 911 for help, according to the FWC.

In a 911 call released by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, the woman described the attack to emergency dispatchers.

"It came up out of nowhere and attacked," she said, telling dispatchers that she is 24 years old.

When a dispatcher asked if the gator bit her, the woman responded, "Yes, sir."

PHOTO: Lake Hernando in Citrus County, Florida is seen here. Google
Lake Hernando in Citrus County, Florida is seen here.

After the encounter, the alligator retreated back under the surface of the lake, but was still "probably nearby," the woman said.

"I'm freaking out," she told dispatchers.

The woman was bleeding after the attack and had her arm wrapped in towel, the 911 call revealed. The dispatcher could be heard giving her instructions on how to stop the bleeding before paramedics arrived on the scene.

She was then taken to Ocala Regional Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and was later released, according to the FWC.

The FWC and Citrus County Sheriff's Office are working to locate the alligator, estimated to be around 4- to 5-feet long. A trapper has been sent to the location as well, according to the FWC.

An alligator's head appears be swimming above the surface of the water in video posted to Twitter by ABC Tampa affiliate WFTS reporter Ryan Smith.

Locals fear that the alligator acted aggressively near the public beach because it's being fed by humans, Smith tweeted.

The public beach access to Lake Hernando, part of western Florida's Hernando Beach Park, was closed as a result of the attack, WFTS reported.

Additional details were not immediately available.

This is the second alligator attack to happen in the South in just three days. On Monday, a woman on a golf course in Hilton Head, South Carolina was killed while protecting her dogs from a 9-foot alligator. The woman was then dragged underwater after a tug-of-war ensued between her and the gator, local officials said.

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