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Woman sacrifices herself to save dog from alligator

(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

A 74-year-old woman say she was bitten by an alligator while trying to save her dog.

The incident occurred at Burt Aaronson Park west of Boca Raton, on August 24th.

Suzan Marciano says she took her dog Nalu, to the park for a walk around 6:30 p.m.  and at some point during the walk, she let her dog off of the leash.

Once freed, Nalu immediately ran into a nearby body of water.

Marciano says she then grabbed a stick and began playing fetch with Nalu, who was still in the water.

During the game, Marciano suddenly noticed what she believes was a six-foot alligator approaching the dog.

The gator then grabbed the dog and that’s when Marciano went after the alligator.

Marciano said she laid all of her body wait on top of the alligator which made the animal let Nalu go. The alligator, however, then bit into Marciano’s hand.

Marciano says she was in complete shock. It wasn’t until  a friend advised her to go to the hospital that she sought help about the attack.

The woman was taken to a local urgent care center where she received five stitches and had her hand soaked in iodine.

She then took Nalu to an animal hospital where the dog underwent emergency surgery for puncture wounds to her stomach and thigh.

Both mom and pup survived the incident, however, Marciano says they are still recovering both physically and mentally from the attack.

Authorities with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say they investigated the incident but were unable to locate the alligator or the exact area of the attack.