90-year-old woman attacked by alligator upgraded to fair condition

An alligator, suspected of being the same one that attacked 90-year-old Margaret Webb in Copeland on Wednesday, was captured on Monday by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials. The gator was found injured in Copeland with a bullet wound in its head - the same area where Webb's neighbor shot the attacking alligator. Photographed Sept. 5, 2011. Contributed by the FWC.

Photo contributed by FWC

An alligator, suspected of being the same one that attacked 90-year-old Margaret Webb in Copeland on Wednesday, was captured on Monday by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials. The gator was found injured in Copeland with a bullet wound in its head - the same area where Webb's neighbor shot the attacking alligator. Photographed Sept. 5, 2011. Contributed by the FWC.

FWC official describes gator attack

Capt. Jayson Horadam says tragedy averted.

She’s laughing. She’s cracking jokes. She’s making plans for getting out of the hospital.

Two weeks after being attacked by an alligator, 90-year-old Margaret Webb is back in good spirits, her son said Tuesday.

Webb has been upgraded to fair condition at Lee Memorial Hospital, where she continues to recover from an amputated leg. Wildlife officials said an unprovoked alligator bit her leg as she walked near a canal outside her Copeland home on Aug. 31.

“The last week or so, she’s been progressively getting better,” said Jim Webb, Margaret’s son. “Right now they’re still looking at her shoulder that’s broken, but I’m waiting on a decision.”

The strong-willed Webb, whose leg was amputated below the knee, has been seeing visitors and telling doctors she’s ready to leave — though a decision still needs to be made whether she’ll need surgery on her shoulder or leave it in a sling.

Concerns about an infection have mostly passed, but there’s still no timetable on a discharge date, Jim Webb said.

“She’s had plans to be at home since the day she got here, to sit in her house and live in her bed,” Jim Webb said. “I tell her, ‘You’ve got to get stronger to leave,’ but she has a rebuttal for every reason why they say she has to stay.”

Webb, a lifelong resident of the Everglades City area, has been healing with help from relatives and the community, her son said. Cards and letters have poured into her hospital room.

“There’s been total support and prayers,” Jim Webb said. “You couldn’t ask for better support.”

An alligator that is “strongly suspected” of having attacked Webb was euthanized last week, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro said. The reptile was found with a bullet in its head, matching the story of Good Samaritan Dwain Daniels III, who said he shot the alligator with a low-powered rifle after it released Webb from its grip.

An investigation into the attack continues and could take several weeks to complete witness interviews, Ferraro said.

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