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Trappers believe they caught alligator that bit off 84-year-old's arm

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Wildlife officials said they believe they found and killed an alligator that's responsible for ripping the arm off a Leesburg grandmother.

Carol Hough, 84, remains in critical condition after she was attacked by the gator in a canal behind her Cypress Creek mobile home on Wednesday.

Another neighbor heard Hough yelling for help around 7 a.m Wednesday.

Del Zickefoose said he heard the cries from the other side of the canal.

Zickefoose said he called 911 as he ran outside, then jumped into the water to save her.

"I went in the water and just got her back to shore here and just held her in my arms. And she was alert, but her arm was gone all the way up to here," said Zickefoose, touching his arm above his elbow.

The gator that attacked Hough was reportedly 6 to 8 feet long.

Trappers said they believe they caught the right gator because it was the same size, 7 ½ feet, and was not shy around the trappers.

However, there was some doubt because wildlife officers said shortly after they pulled the gator ashore, trappers cut open the belly and only found a hamburger and fish parts.

Officials said that is proof someone was feeding it, so the gator was getting too comfortable with people.

"I've had them coming around the corner of the house," said neighbor Keith Wolf.

Wolf said it was only a matter of time before one of his neighbors had a run-in with one of the gators that live in the canal.

"Just because they got one doesn't mean it is over," said Wolf.

Wildlife officials said the large amount of bacteria in the gator's mouth is worrisome because it could cause a serious infection in a bite wound.

Fish and Wildlife officials hope to interview Hough tomorrow.