A nearly 10-foot-long alligator bit a woman on the leg and arm and dragged her into a Sanibel lake Wednesday evening as she was gardening near the bank behind her home, Sanibel police said.

Jane C. Keefer, 74, of 1075 Blue Heron Drive, still was being treated in the emergency room at HealthPark Medical Center early today after being attacked by a 9-foot, 7-inch-long male alligator about 8 p.m. in the Gulf Shores subdivison.

Sanibel Police Chief Bill Tomlinson said the animal’s actions toward Keefer, who was stable and in good condition while being treated, appeared to have been unprovoked.

Bitten first on the leg, Keefer was able to fight the alligator off, Tomlinson said. The reptile lunged at her a second time, biting her arm and dragging her into the water, said Lar Gregory, an investigator with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

With the help of her husband, William, she was able to repel the alligator and got back on land, Gregory said.

Authorities captured the alligator at 10:45 p.m. behind Keefer’s ranch-style home after tossing a cow’s lung attached to a cord into the lake. The alligator almost immediately swallowed the lung, and five men hauled the gator ashore, Gregory said.

At that point, two Sanibel police officers, along with Gregory and licensed Fish and Wildlife trappers John French of North Fort Myers and Tracy Hansen of Fort Myers, bound the gator’s snout with electrical tape and carried it to a small covered pickup where it lay just before midnight.

The alligator will be destroyed, authorities said.

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