An elderly Florida woman was killed by a 10-foot-long alligator as she attempted save her dog while taking a walk around her retirement community,
The 85-year-old, who has not yet been publicly named, was reportedly attacked outside of Spanish Lakes Fairways, a retirement community in Fort Pierce, according to WPTV.
Elderly Woman Was Walking Dog When Alligator Suddenly Lunged Out And Grabbed The Pet
Residents told the outlet that the victim was walking her dog when the reptile suddenly lunged out of the water and grabbed the pooch.
She tried to save the dog, but the pet was quickly dragged underwater, CBS News reports.
The dog somehow managed to survive the attack, however it’s owner was ultimately killed by the alligator.
Authorities only “recovered” the body after Robert Lilly, an alligator wrangler, was called in to trap the massive reptile.
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) February 21, 2023
“It was definitely a fight,” the alligator trapper said, recalling the alligator’s capture. “[We] snagged him on the bottom. He never surfaced. He stayed down the whole time.”
Alligator Subdued By Animal Wrangler, Required Six Officers To Carry It Into Back Of Pickup Truck
Photos show Lilley somehow subdued the gator as well as other shots of officers assisting in carrying the reptile.
“We were able to get a second hook in him and a hard line in him so we could get him up,” Lilley explained.
It ultimately took six people to load the alligator into the back of a pickup truck, with experts estimating that the predator to be at least 10 to 11-feet long and weighing between 600 and 700 pounds.
Meanwhile, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office had to reportedly close several roads in the area as they launched an investigation into the woman’s death.
Gator Attacks: How Prevalent Are They? And How Many People Are Really Killed By Gators Each Year?
While gators are reportedly not an uncommon sight in the area, neighbors say they had never witnessed an attack like that before.
However, it was not the only gator-incident reported this week. On Sunday, a 4-foot-long alligator was removed from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake, in an area known for small children.
In explaining why an alligator ended up in New York City, Meghan Lalor, a representative for the Parks Department, said the gator was likely an unwanted pet whose owner decided to release it in public waters.
Gator attacks are uncommon, but not completely unheard of.
There were more than two dozen deaths and 376 injuries out of 442 unprovoked attacks between 1948 and 2021, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife.
Globally, alligators account for less than 6 percent of crocodilian attacks that resulted in fatality (IUCN), according to University of Florida CrocDocs.
A majority of these attacks occurred while the person was swimming, wading, or at the water’s edge (CrocBITE database). With the majority of Florida’s population living in close proximity to freshwater and coastal areas, there is increased potential for conflict.
The Nile crocodile is responsible for more attacks on humans than any other crocodilian species, giving the misconception that the American crocodile, a federally threatened species in Florida, will behave similarly.