A 90-year-old woman had part of her leg bitten off after an 8ft-long alligator lunged at her as she walked in her Florida garden.
Margaret Webb was saved from a grisly death by a neighbor who saw her fighting for her life as the gator tried to drag her back into the water.
Officials said the elderly victim suffered severe leg trauma during the horrific attack and the remains of her limb were amputated at hospital.
Ms Webb had been walking in her garden when the alligator surged out of a 14ft deep canal that runs alongside the bottom of her garden.
Before she had time to run away the gator had surged up the grass and clamped its powerful jaws on her leg
Ms Webb was able to dig her fingers into the ground and hold on until neighbor Dwain Daniels, who was driving past, saw her in trouble and dashed to her rescue.
Mr Daniels was able to grab Ms Webb and managed to fire several shots at the gator. He believes he hit the gator, which slipped back into the water.
Ms Webb was airlifted from her home in Copeland, Florida, to hospital where she remains in a critical condition.
Wildlife officials praised the heroic actions of Mr Daniels, who had been driving past in his pick up truck when he witnessed the attack.
'He looked over saw the lady on the ground half in the water, wheeled around and jumped out of his truck to come to her aid,' said Jayson Horadam, Captain of Law Enforcement for Florida Wildlife Commission.
'It appears he was able to pull her away from the gator.'
Surgeons at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers were unable to save Ms Webb's mangled leg and had to amputate the limb.
Gabriella Ferraro, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said: 'I believe there was an amputation.'
Two licensed wranglers searched for two hours in an attempt to find the gator.
Alligator attacks are rare, but often prove deadly. There were five alligator attacks on people in Florida last year.