An alligator attack that happened recently in Florida has gone viral on social media. The attack resulted in the death of an 85-year-old woman who was walking her dog by a pond near her home in Fort Pierce.
The authorities said that on the day of the incident, the 10-foot alligator grabbed the woman, Gloria Serge, after it went after her small dog. Witnesses immediately called 911 when they saw the alligator dragging the woman into the water. Unfortunately, Ms. Serge did not survive the encounter.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a trapper captured and killed the alligator after the attack. This incident marks at least the third fatal encounter with alligators in the state over the past year.
The incident took place in Spanish Lakes Fairways, a community in Fort Pierce designed for residents who are 55 and older. A neighbor who witnessed the attack said that she heard a commotion and saw the alligator grabbing Ms. Serge by the leg and pulling her into a retention pond. When Ms. Serge came up for air, the neighbor yelled at her to swim to an overturned paddle boat. But Ms. Serge replied that she couldn’t swim because the alligator had her.
Carol Thomas, the neighbor who witnessed the incident, grabbed a long pole used to hang outdoor plants and hoped to strike the alligator on the snout or push it off Ms. Serge. However, Ms. Serge was no longer visible in the pond.
Florida is home to an estimated 1.3 million alligators of all sizes, and serious injuries caused by alligators are rare. However, alligators are known as “opportunistic feeders” that tend to pursue prey they can easily overpower. From 1948 to 2021, the state recorded 442 “unprovoked bite incidents” involving alligators, 26 of which were fatal, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Over the last 10 years, Florida has averaged eight unprovoked bites per year that are serious enough to require professional medical treatment.
Ms. Serge was a well-loved member of the Spanish Lakes Fairways community. She enjoyed playing bocce with her husband, Charlie, who had been in charge of bocce at the community before he passed away several years ago. Ms. Serge was also active in the community’s New Jersey club, for former residents of the state.
The incident is a tragic reminder of the risks that come with living in a state like Florida, where alligators are a common sight. It is important to exercise caution when walking near bodies of water and to be aware of the dangers posed by alligators.
🐊An 85-year-old woman was killed by an alligator while walking her dog in St. Lucie County. Police say the gator attacked the dog first. When she tried to save her dog, the gator then attacked her. The gator was trapped.
📸: St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX pic.twitter.com/BT8iBK6NJF
— Gage Goulding – NBC2 (@GageGoulding) February 21, 2023