Crocodile bites off woman's arm in 'death roll'

A woman walking her dogs in Australia had her arm bitten off by a crocodile in a "death roll".

The victim, aged in her 60s, had been at Three Mile Creek in Wyndham, about 280 miles south-west of Darwin, when the predator attacked on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman, missing her arm just above the elbow, reportedly needed to be convinced to get into a vehicle which had stopped to help as she did not want to get blood in the car.

After being taken to Wyndham Hospital she was then flown to the Royal Darwin Hospital where she underwent surgery.

She is understood to be in a stable condition.

Resident Paul Cavanagh said his nephew and son-in-law picked the injured woman up and took her to hospital after seeing she was missing her arm just above her elbow.

"She was standing on the side of the road just shocked," he said.

"She's lived here a long time, hopefully she's all right."

Michael Snowball, the owner of a cafe near to the creek where the attack happened, said: "It came out of the water and grabbed her and did a death roll and took her arm off near the elbow."

During a death roll a crocodile spins and twists to rip off parts of its prey.

Mr Snowball said it was the first time he had heard about a crocodile attack at the creek, where children swam.

Police cordoned off the area but by the time wildlife officers arrived, the animal had disappeared.

A Department of Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman said the creature was believed to be a saltwater crocodile, which can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh more than a tonne.

She added: "We've got crews on site trying to locate the animal. If that doesn't happen, we'll soon be getting fresh crews in to come and deploy a trap with a view to trapping and destroying the animal."

Crocodiles are common in Australia's tropical north where numbers have increased since the introduction of protection laws in 1971, with government estimates putting the national population at around 100,000.

They kill an average of two people each year in Australia.

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