A woman was attacked and killed by an alligator while walking her dog in the Spanish Wells community on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, officials said Tuesday. CBS News,
This was the second fatal attack by a crocodile in less than a year.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said officers responded at approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a possible alligator attack near a lagoon bordering a golf course in the Spanish Wells community on Hilton Head Island.
According to officials, a 69-year-old resident of the community was located at the edge of the lagoon and appeared to be unresponsive.
“Rescue efforts were made and an alligator appeared and was protecting the woman, hindering emergency efforts,” the sheriff’s office said. “The gator was safely removed from the area and the female body was recovered.”
Deputies determined that the woman was walking her dog in the morning when she was attacked by the alligator. The dog was found safe, said Major Angela Wiens, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
In a tweet, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said its “biologists and officials are responding to the incident”.
On August 15 last year, an 88-year-old woman from Sun City was mauled to death by a crocodile in a lagoon near her home.
Fatal alligator attacks were never reported in South Carolina until recent years.
In 2020, deputies shot and killed an alligator that fatally attacked a 58-year-old woman on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
In 2019, a man was found dead on Kiawah Island with what officials believed to be an alligator bite, but it was unclear how the man initially died.
In 2016, a 90-year-old woman exited a Charleston nursing home in 2016 and was mauled to death by a gator, while a 45-year-old woman walking her dog on Hilton Head Island was fatally attacked in August 2018.
Prior to those attacks, South Carolina had never had a fatal attack on a person by an alligator.