American Jewish Woman Loses Arm in Alligator Attack

A Jewish woman lost part of her arm after being bitten by an alligator while swimming alone in a Florida river last Saturday. 

A Spanish professor at Rollins College, Rachael Lilienthal, 37, of Orlando was attacked by the alligator in Wekiva River, north of the city in central Florida.

According to local media, JTA reported Wednesday, Lilienthal was repeatedly pulled underwater by the alligator, bitten multiple times in the arm, back and abdomen. 

Kayakers managed to rescue Lilienthal from the 9-foot long alligator by hitting it with their paddles, before calling emergency services. 

Jakob Frick, who was canoeing nearby, said of the incident: “We see the jaws just chomp down on her arm, and it starts spinning around, pulls her underwater, goes back up. She’s just screaming.”

The Chabad of O'Town in Orlando held a special prayer service for the swimmer on Sunday, calling on all its members to join in prayers for Lilenthal after she underwent surgery, the Jewish Chronicle reported. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials captured the alligator early Sunday morning and had it shot. 


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