Alligator attack leaves man dead as reptile drags victim into pond

Local police said Friday an alligator killed a man in Horry County, South Carolina after dragging him into a retention pond.

The Horry County Police Department (HCPD) said in a statement on Facebook that around 11:45 a.m. Horry County Fire Rescue responded to a water rescue call in the Excalibur Court area outside of Myrtle Beach.

Police officers and units from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources also came to the rescue. At the scene, units found that the alligator “seized a neighbor who was near the edge of a retention pond and retreated back into the water.”

Alligator attack leaves man dead
Authorities said Friday an alligator killed a man in Horry County, South Carolina after dragging him into a pond. Above, an alligator lies on grass near a canal in Everglades National Park, Florida on September 30, 2021.
Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Authorities decided to remove the alligator from the pond and decided that it should be euthanized on site. The HCPD’s Department of Environmental Services and Criminal Investigation is currently investigating the death of the man whose body was recovered from the pond.

“Our hearts go out to the family members and community members affected by this tragic incident,” the HCPD added in its statement.

news week reached out to the Horry County Police Department for comment.

When alligators attack

A similar incident occurred in Florida last month when a 47-year-old man was killed by an alligator while searching for a lost Frisbee in the waters of John S. Taylor Park.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was called to the scene along with a trapper. Nearby residents have been urged to avoid the water at all times, particularly during the alligator mating season, which lasts from April to June, when the reptiles become more aggressive.

Also in Florida, where about 1.3 million alligators live in all 67 counties, a 7-foot alligator bit a man who was walking around a motel earlier this month. However, experts said it was “rare” for alligators to attack humans in unprovoked situations. The FWC stated that between 1948 and 2021, 442 people died from unprovoked alligator attacks, including 26 deaths.

Alligators are “opportunistic feeders,” according to the FWC, and typically prey on easily accessible species such as small animals, birds, fish, and snakes.

“Dogs are more susceptible to being bitten than humans because dogs resemble alligators’ natural prey,” the FWC said. “The sound of dogs barking and playing could attract an alligator to the area.”

Last week, an alligator attacked and ate a 40-pound dog that was playing fetch with its owner on the JR Alford Greenway Trail in Florida. The black Labrador-Retriever mix was up to his elbows in water when a 9-foot alligator grabbed the dog upside down and pulled him into the water.

“Boom, the water just exploded,” said the dog’s owner, Josh Wells Tallahassee Democrat. “He never barked. He never saw it.”

Similarly, in March, an alligator killed a 50-pound pit bull on the campus of State College of Florida. Alligator attack leaves man dead as reptile drags victim into pond

Rick Schindler

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