Published: Aug 18, 2010 12:31 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 17, 2010 9:02 PM EDT

LAFITTE, La. -  An LSU graduate student is recovering after an alligator attack in which she almost lost an arm. The attack happened at Jean Lafitte National Park on the Westbank of New Orleans.

Yu-Hsin Hsueh is an LSU science student. She was at the park doing research on bald cypress trees for her PhD. She said she leaned over to get a sample of soil and water when the seven-foot 300 pound alligator, which was hiding underneath the boardwalk, grabbed her arm.

The gator has her in a death roll and she's still not sure how she got away.

"It was so scary," she said. "I cannot imagine if I lose my hand at that time."

The 29-year-old has a long way to go to recovery.

The alligator broke her arm, ripped tendons and crushed a finger joint.

She now has a plate in her arm and has a lot of physical therapy to go through.

It is the first time an alligator has attacked in the park and officials said it was because people are feeding them. The gator was euthanized.