The young woman was washing clothes by the river, as many people in the Indian village of Thikariya Mubarak do, when the beast struck.
A crocodile emerged from the water and seized her foot between its jaws, according to a local forestry official.
The crocodile tried to drag her into the river during the attack Friday morning. But it hadn’t reckoned with the woman’s mother, who was washing clothes nearby.
The mother began thumping the reptile with a wooden bat that’s normally used to beat the dirt out of laundry.
Her bold assault prompted the creature to release her daughter’s foot, Ashok Pandya, the local forestry official, told CNN on Sunday.
The young woman, who was identified as 18-year-old Kanta Vankar, was reported to have escaped without major injury.
The Times of India, a national newspaper, published a photo on its website that appeared to show the woman lying on a hospital bed with her lower leg bandaged up. Her mother, whom the newspaper identified as Divali, was shown sitting at her side.
Authorities have asked villagers to be careful and avoid going to the river, Pandya said.
Similar attacks have taken place previously in the same area of the eastern Indian state of Gujarat, he said.