Copied from the KATC3 website news story:
SANIBEL, Fla. (AP) ? A 12-foot alligator attacked a landscaper Wednesday behind an island home, dragging her into a pond before a neighbor and police officers yanked the woman from the animal's jaws.
"It was kind of a tug-of-war," said the neighbor, Jim Anholt.
Part of Janie Melsek's right arm had to be amputated later during six hours of surgery. She also was severely bitten on her buttocks and thighs, but doctors believe she will walk again, her family said. She remained in critical condition.
Melsek, 54, was trimming a tree when the alligator attacked. "The lady was in the pond and the alligator had hold of her and just her face was showing," Anholt told The News-Press of Fort Myers.
He rushed to help, holding Melsek's neck to help keep her head above water, and three Sanibel police officers tried to get her out of the water. Rescuers struggled for about five minutes to pull her from the pond. When she came free, medical workers began treating her on the shore.
Police shot the alligator in the head, killing it. It took six men to lift the 12-foot, 3-inch animal to shore. The body was being sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which will perform a necropsy.
NOTE: Janie subsequently died in surgery. Per her surgeons, her body shut down from all the terrilble infections that had taken over her system. She was unable to fight them off since her wounds were so extensive.
In light of the terrible death of poor Janie Melsek, the landscaper who was attacked by a 12 foot gator and subsequently died from her injuries, I want to emphasize how deadly these animals can be.
Remember that they hunt by looking like they are inanimate logs, and then suddenly rushing at their intended prey. They can go from 0 to 30mph in the blink of an eye. Do NOT be fooled and get too close to them.
there are bike lanes that run along both sides of periwinkle way through sanibel island. be very careful when entering drive ways along periwinkle and also when exiting on to periwinkle way. bikes have the right of way and many people on bikes ignore turning traffic. be sure to look both ways for bikes when turning on to sanibel streets.
In Sanibel, it is illegal to take seashells, among other things. Apparently though, taking seashells carries a pretty hefty fine. There are a few stores which sell sea shells, which is presumably legal. I'm not sure why they are allowed to collect shells but no one else is, but it probably costs less to purchase the shells than pay the fine in the event you get caught.
watch out! They can split your head open and you'll never know what hit you. They sure are cool for taking photos though,
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