BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) — A woman in South Carolina was killed by an alligator Monday — the second such attack this year, authorities said.
The woman's body was discovered at the edge of the water near a pond in a gated community in the town of Bluffton by a resident, who told deputies that the reptile appeared to be guarding the body, The Island Packet quoted Beaufort County Sheriff's Maj. Angela Viens as saying.
Information about the size of the alligator and whether it would be euthanized or relocated was not immediately available.
On June 24, the Horry County Police Department said an alligator dragged a man into a pond. Prior to those attacks, authorities said, the state had not recorded any in two years.
In May 2020, a woman was attacked and killed by an alligator in the gated community where she'd gone to do a homeowner's nails. A 90-year-old woman walked out of a Charleston nursing home in 2016 and was killed, while a 45-year-old woman walking her dog was fatally attacked on Hilton Head Island in August 2018. David Lucas, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said then that the state had never recorded a person killed by an alligator before those attacks.
Unprovoked attacks by alligators smaller than 5 feet long (1.5 meters long) are rare, according to the National Wildlife Control Training Program. Because alligators twist and roll after clamping down with their jaws, officials advise rolling with the animal to reduce further tearing of the bitten ligament. Officials also suggest striking the alligator's nose and gouging the eyes.