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Woman, 85, killed in alligator attack while walking her dog in Florida

The dog survived Monday’s attack in Fort Pierce, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson said.
/ Source: NBC News

An 85-year-old woman was killed in an alligator attack on Monday while walking her dog in Florida, authorities said.

The incident occurred at Spanish Lakes Fairways, a 55-plus living community in Fort Pierce, a city about 67 miles north of West Palm Beach, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Residents of the community told NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach that the woman was trying to fight off the alligator after it grabbed the dog.

Witnesses called 911, a commission spokesperson said.

Authorities recovered the unidentified victim, and a “contracted nuisance alligator trapper” captured the large reptile, according to the official.

The alligator was 10 to 11 feet and weighed between 600 and 700 pounds, WPTV reported.

Robert Lilly, the alligator trapper, told the news station of trapping the alligator: “It was definitely a fight. (We) snagged him on the bottom. He never surfaced. He stayed down the whole time. We were able to get a second hook in him and a hard line in him so we could get him up.”

The dog survived the attack, the commission spokesperson said, without disclosing the conditions of the pet or the alligator.

Officials at Spanish Lakes Fairways declined to comment Tuesday.

There are about 1.3 million alligators in the state of Florida, but alligator attacks resulting in serious injuries are rare, according to the commission.

The agency urges people with concerns about alligators to call its Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286, which dispatches alligator trappers “to resolve the situation.” Alligators are deemed a nuisance if they are greater than four feet long and believed to post a threat to people, pets or property,

The commission says people should not feed alligators and keep their distance from them, adding that people should keep their pets on a leash and at a distance from bodies of water. Alligators prefer fresh water lakes and slow-moving rivers, according to the agency.

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