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A 68-year-old woman is in a stable condition in an Australian hospital after a crocodile lept from a creek and bit off part of her arm

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PERTH, Australia — A 68-year-old woman was in a stable condition in an Australian hospital after a crocodile lept from a creek and bit off part of her arm, authorities said.

The woman was attacked Wednesday afternoon as she rested during a shopping trip on a creek bank on the edge of the town of Wyndham in Western Australia state, a Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Peter Carstairs said on Thursday.

"The victim was attacked by a crocodile as it launched 2 meters (6 feet, 7 inches) out of the water and grabbed her from behind," Carstairs said.

Wynyard local Paul Cavanagh said his nephew and son-in-law picked the injured woman up from the side of a road and drove her to Wyndham District Hospital after seeing her walking with her right arm missing below the elbow.

She was flown east to the larger Royal Darwin Hospital late Wednesday for further treatment, Western Australia Country Health Service spokesman Peter Cogan said.

She had surgery for the loss of the lower half of her right forearm and had been treated for bite marks to her left thigh, ambulance service spokesman Malcolm Johnston-Leek said on Thursday.

Her condition was stable, hospital spokesman Kirsty Reid said.

Wildlife rangers on Thursday captured and killed the 2.2-meter (7-foot, 3-inch) crocodile responsible for the attack, Carstairs said.

Crocodile numbers have boomed across Australia's northern tropics since they became a protected species under federal law in 1971, and they are an increasing threat to humans.

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