Elderly Woman Killed By 10-Foot Alligator While Walking Her Dog
A Florida woman died after being attacked by an alligator while walking her dog Monday, authorities say.
The unnamed 85-year-old woman was walking her dog in the Spanish Lakes Fairways community of Fort Pierce when a 10-foot alligator lunged out of the water and attacked her, WPBF reported. Though officials would not provide details of what happened to the woman after the attack, they did confirm that she died from her injuries, the outlet stated.
Officials have captured the gator. Neighbors in the Spanish Lakes community are out here watching.
Neighbors tell me they heard that a woman was walking her dog, and unfortunately died from the attack. @WPBF25News pic.twitter.com/UhBACwqD45
— Sooji Nam (@WPBF_Sooji) February 20, 2023
The alligator, believed to be between 600-700 pounds, was known to the residents of the retirement community and was often seen sunning itself on the banks near the water, WPBF reported.
After the fatal attack, the alligator was removed from the lake, though it took quite an effort. “Snagged him on the bottom. He never surfaced. He stayed down the whole time. Got a second hook in him and then a hard line in him so we could get him up. It was definitely a fight,” alligator trapper Robert Lilly told the outlet.
Alligators are opportunistic feeders and prefer to seek out prey they easily overpower, the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) noted. Their natural fear of humans can be overcome if human feed them regularly, according to the FWC. For this reason, feeding alligators in the wild is illegal in Florida.
Though alligators are prevalent in Florida with a population of 1.3 million in the state, human injuries and deaths from unprovoked attacks and bites are rare, the FWC reported. Over the last 10 years, the state has reported an average of 8 bites per year that were serious enough to require medical attention. Since 1948, the state has recorded only 442 unprovoked bites, 26 of which were fatal, per the FWC. The chances of being attacked by an alligator without provocation is one in 3.1 million, the FWC added.
The FWC is investigating the incident.