AN elderly woman has been killed in an alligator infested pond near her home at a country club in Florida on Friday.
The woman was seen falling into the basin near her home the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club, and she struggled to stay above water, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said.
Witnesses confirmed two alligators were observed swimming towards her and grabbing her while she was in the water.
The woman, whose identity remains unknown, was was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Englewood Fire District established the incident occurred near Cayman Isle Boulevard and Golf View Drive at approximately 7:47 p.m.
A trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) removed the alligators from the pond.
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An investigation is ongoing – it is not yet clear whether the large reptiles were involved in her death.
Alligators are typically found in Florida, Louisiana, and other southern states and have already taken the lives of multiple people in 2022.
On May 31, 2022, a 47-year-old man, later identified as Sean Thomas McGuinness, was found dead in John S. Taylor Park in Largo, Florida, with one arm torn off.
Paul Cozzie, the director of Parks and Conservation Resources in Pinellas County, told The New York Times that “he died as a result of an alligator attack,” which marked Florida's first fatal alligator attack since 2018.
A few weeks later, on June 26, Fox News reported that a South Carolina man was killed after an 11-foot alligator attacked him and pulled him into a retention pond.
These two deaths mark the first ones in 2022, but there have been several attacks in between.
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While an exact number is unclear, there have been at least five attacks where people have survived.
This month, a six-year old was bitten by an alligator during a family trip in Louisiana.
On June 22, Samuel Ray told WRAL that he was attacked by an alligator while playing catch near a pond in Florida.
"It was about a foot away from the water," Ray said.
"And then as soon as I put my hand on the ball, I bent over and picked it up. That's when I saw the gator's eye. It lunged out, and it was so fast, it was like a lightning strike."
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Just a few days before Ray's attack, a man sustained non-life-threatening injuries while saving his dog from an alligator attack, according to WCSC.
As of November 2021, Florida has seen an average of eight unprovoked bites per year, but the risk of being seriously injured during an unprovoked incident is roughly one in 3.1 million, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission notes.
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