Elderly woman, 85, is killed by 10ft alligator as she tried to save her dog from its jaws in Florida

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An 85-year-old woman was mauled to death by a 10-foot alligator as she tried to rescue her dog from the reptile’s clutches near a pond in Florida.

The pensioner, who has not yet been named, had been walking her dog by the pond at the Spanish Lakes Fairways community in Fort Pierce on Monday when the 700lb alligator launched itself from the water and grabbed the canine.

The woman had tried to get the dog away from the alligator’s jaws when the 700lb reptile attacked her, dragging her into the pond, an eyewitness told CBS News.

The victim’s body was later recovered by officials, while her dog is being treated for injuries.

The woman is the third victim to be killed by an alligator in Florida since last July. 

Wildlife experts found the alligator at the bottom of the pond and dragged it out of the water, with one official seen sitting on top of the reptile. 

Elderly woman, 85, is killed by 10ft alligator as she tried to save her dog from its jaws in Florida

An 85-year-old woman was mauled to death by a 10-foot alligator as she tried to rescue her dog from the reptile’s clutches near a pond in Florida. Officials later managed to drag the alligator (pictured), its snout closed shut with rope, across the grass and put it in a truck

Wildlife experts found the alligator at the bottom of the pond and dragged it out of the water, with one official seen sitting on top of the reptile

Wildlife experts found the alligator at the bottom of the pond and dragged it out of the water, with one official seen sitting on top of the reptile

They later managed to drag the alligator, its snout closed shut with rope, across the grass and put it in a truck.

‘Snagged him [the alligator] 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,’ Robert Lilly, an alligator trapper working for the FWC, told WPBF.

Lilly said it was ‘definitely a fight’ as the alligator weighed around 700lb.

The pensioner is the third person to be killed by an alligator in Florida since last July.

Another elderly woman was killed by two alligators after falling into a pond near her home at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club in Englewood in July 2022. 

The woman, whose identity is not known, was struggling to stay afloat, two alligators were seen swimming toward her. They then grabbed her before she could escape and killed her.

In May 2022, 47-year-old Sean Thomas McGuinness’ body was found missing three limbs at the lake at the John S Taylor Park in Largo, Florida.

Officials later managed to drag the alligator, its snout closed shut with rope, across the grass and put it in a truck.

Officials later managed to drag the alligator, its snout closed shut with rope, across the grass and put it in a truck.

In May 2022, 47-year-old Sean Thomas McGuinness' (pictured) body was found missing three limbs at the lake at the John S Taylor Park in Largo, Florida

In May 2022, 47-year-old Sean Thomas McGuinness’ (pictured) body was found missing three limbs at the lake at the John S Taylor Park in Largo, Florida

Investigators now believe he had gone into the 53-acre freshwater lake looking for UFOs when he was attacked. The park is home to an 18-hole disc golf course, with five holes adjacent to the lake, according to the Miami Herald.

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Authorities noted that park management had reported ‘McGuinness was known to frequent the park and enter the lake with disregard to the posted “No swimming” signs.

‘A witness also advised detectives that McGuinness was known to sell discs back to people within the park, and McGuinness was found within a few feet of a disc in the water.’

Florida has a population of 1.3 million alligators across its 67 counties, and they can be found in practically all fresh water bodies and occasionally in salt water.

But the number of cases of people being attacked by alligators in the state is small. 

From 1948 to 2021, 442 unprovoked bite incidents have occurred in Florida, 26 of these bites resulted in human fatalities. 

Over the past 10 years, Florida has averaged eight unprovoked bites per year that are serious enough to require professional medical treatment, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says on its website.

‘The likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly only one in 3.1 million,’ it said. 

Following yesterday’s attack, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said: ‘Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida. 

‘The FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property. 

‘People with concerns about an alligator should call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). 

‘When someone concerned about an alligator calls the Nuisance Alligator Hotline, we will dispatch one of our contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation.” 

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