A crocodile bit off two fingers of a US tourist's hand after he apparently pretended to give food to the predator on a golf course.
The 50-year-old was on holiday in the Mexican resort of Cancun when he was attacked on Tuesday.
The golfer was in a stable condition in a Cancun hospital and medics have recovered one of his fingers in the hope of reattaching it, said civil protection chief Felix Diaz Villalobos.
The victim ignored signs about the presence of crocodiles, Mr Diaz said.
"These animals are generally very peaceful," he added.
Cancun is one of Mexico's popular holiday destinations for US and US tourists.
The crocodiles there, largely American crocodiles, Crocodylus acutus, are non-aggressive species that feed on fish and other small wildlife.