A 10-foot alligator killed a 69-year-old woman in South Carolina on Tuesday morning.
The woman, who has not been identified, was walking her dog when the beast attacked in the second fatal gator attack in the county in less than a year.
The beast was found guarding the victim’s mutilated body at the edge of a lagoon near her home and Spanish Wells Golf Club on Hilton Head Island.
‘Rescue efforts were made and an alligator appeared and was guarding the woman, interrupting emergency efforts,’ the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said.
The gator was safely removed from the area and euthanized. The woman’s body was recovered and an autopsy is planned for Wednesday.
An alligator killed a 69-year-old woman in South Carolina on Tuesday. The woman was walking her dog when the alligator attacked and killed her, marking the second fatal gator attack in the county in less than a year
Police along with Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue, Beaufort County Coroner’s Office and Spanish Wells security personnel were called in for a report of a possible alligator attack near a lagoon bordering the golf course.
Authorities responded at about 9:30 am to the attack which occurred near the Spanish Wells community on Hilton Head Island.
Hilton Head Island is in upscale neighborhood in Beaufort County and is consistently ranked one of the best places to live in South Carolina.
Despite rescue efforts being made in an attempt to save the woman, the alligator reappeared and guarded the woman, disrupting the emergency response.
The woman was found unresponsive and presumed dead.
The woman’s body was recovered and the gator was removed safely from the area. The Beaufort County Coroner’s Office is expected to perform an autopsy on the woman on Wednesday.
It is unclear at this point where the woman was taken into the water. The condition of the woman’s dog is also unknown at this time.
Alligator encounters and attacks have increased in recent years across the US, especially in Florida and South Carolina.
South Carolina went years without having many alligator attacks, until 2022, when the state reported five alligator attacks in the year, two of which were fatal.
In Florida, alligator attacks have increased from around six per year from 1971 through 1986 to nearly 10 per year from 1987 through 2017, according to Fish and Wildlife data.
As population and development increase in Florida, scientists say, so too have alligator attacks.
‘As the human population encroaches on the habitat of alligators, attacks and nuisance complaints increase,’ according to the NIH.
Frank Robb, an expert on the prehistoric predator weighed in on the causes behind the increase in attacks.
Gloria Serge, 85, was killed in February when she tried to rescue her beloved dog, Trooper, from a 10 foot gator. Video released later shows as Serge tried to get her dog away from the alligator’s jaws but the gator grabbed her instead and could be seen dragging her into the lake
Serge’s pup survived the attacked, but the gator was later captured and euthanized after it mauled the elderly woman to death near a pond in Florida last February
Serge (pictured) was a grandmother living in the Spanish Lakes Fairways retirement community in Fort Pierce, Florida, when she was killed by an alligator in February
Robb, a well-known ‘gator trapper’ in Florida who now dedicates his time to research told Fox35 he believes the reason behind the increase is developments in Florida.
‘The more Florida expands, the more people we get into Florida, the more people we keep jamming down here we’re building on a lot of areas that are surrounding marsh areas and wild areas,’ Robb told FOX35.
‘Conflict like this is becoming more common, but that’s not the alligator’s fault. The alligator doesn’t want to be doing this, and of course, people don’t want that type of interaction,’ he added.
It’s not the alligator’s fault, Robb said. He also encourages citizens to use more common sense and stay vigilant, like ‘not walking their dog right next to the water that could have an alligator in it.’
‘Sometimes it’s right to play ‘what if’,’ Robb told FOX35. ‘What if that gator came up and attacked my dog? There’d be nothing you can do. That’s not the interaction they’re looking to have but the right time, right place, things like that can go down.
Nancy Ann Jackson Becker, 88, died in August 2022, after she was attacked by an alligator while outside her home in Sun City Hilton Head.
The retirement community in South Carolina was sued after the woman was killed in the alligator attack that her family claims was preventable, according to the lawsuit filed in Beaufort County.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office previously said the 88-year-old woman was found dead near the alligator, which was reportedly guarding her body, around 11 in the morning.
In February of this year, an 85-year-old woman was mauled to death by a ten-foot alligator as she tried to rescue her dog from the reptile’s clutches near a pond in Florida.
Gloria Serge, 85, was killed when she tried to rescue her beloved dog, Trooper, from the reptile’s clutches.
Video shows the moment the alligator bursts from the water and lunges at the woman’s dog.
The attack unfolded in front of a neighbor who frantically called 911 as she tried to help the woman.
Serge’s pup survived the attacked, but the gator was later captured and euthanized.
The pensioner had been walking her dog by the pond at the Spanish Lakes Fairways community in Fort Pierce when the 700lb alligator launched itself from the water and grabbed the canine.
The woman tried to get the dog away from the alligator’s jaws when the reptile attacked her, dragging her into the pond, an eyewitness told CBS News.
Last week, an alligator lunged at a fisherman by a South Carolina pond before he ran to safety. Surveillance video shows the fisherman standing on the grassy edge of a pond patiently waiting to catch a fish when suddenly an alligator emerges
Last week, a 13-year-old survived an attack from an alligator where the reptile only let go of his right leg after the teenager punched him in Florida. The teen was taken to a local hospital and given stitches on his leg and is anticipated to make a full recovery
Gabriel Klimis (pictured right), 13, was playing with friends at Howell Creek near Orlando last week when he was attacked by the gator, shown here
And just last week, a 13-year-old survived an attack from an alligator where the reptile only let go of his right leg after the teenager punched him in Florida.
Gabriel Klimis was playing with friends at Howell Creek near Orlando.
He jumped off a bridge using a rope to attempt to cross the creek when he felt something.
The gator hung on to his right leg, with Klimis fully understanding the danger he was in.
Also last week, an alligator lunged at a fisherman by a South Carolina pond before he ran to safety.
The moment he ran from the beast was caught on camera.
The video was captured by a tourist who was visiting the Shipyard on Hilton Head Island with his family last week.
Micah Kimberlin said he was on a bike ride with his wife and three children when spotted the gator.
Surveillance video shows the fisherman standing on the grassy edge of the pond with his fishing rod in hand when suddenly the gator emerges and lunges towards him.
The man was seen running away from the lake in the other direction as a nearbye woman holding a camera also bolts from the harried scene. The man managed to escape without injury.
Alligators are more active in spring and fall, particularly at dawn and dusk.
To avoid a gator attack, it’s important to keep your distance, avoid feeding the animals, stay alert and swim in designated areas.