FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Days after an 85-year-old woman was killed by an alligator in a neighborhood in northern St. Lucie County, three more alligators have been removed from that same community.
Wildlife officials said Gloria Serge was walking her small dog along a retention pond at Spanish Lakes Fairways in Fort Pierce when an approximately 10-foot alligator pulled her into the water.
And now, the Spanish Lakes Fairways homeowners association president said on Thursday that three alligators have been taken out of the community, The Gainesville Sun reports.
During a monthly HOA meeting, Jay Mandelker announced the removal of the reptiles and was joined by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and St. Lucie County Sheriff’s officials, according to WPEC.
“They did so to allay any concerns and to make us realize the precautions we should take with regard to wildlife, alligators in particular,” Mandelker told The Gainesville Sun. “If you're walking by a lake, a pond, anywhere in Florida, understand, this is Florida, there could be alligators, so do not walk against the edges of any pond or lake, stay a safe distance away.”
Mandelker reportedly was unsure if the three alligators taken out of the neighborhood were from the same pond where Serge died, but did reveal that all the waters in the community were connected and it's possible that an alligator can go to each pond.
The attack on Serge happened Monday afternoon and, according to the FWC, the reptile first tried to take the dog.
The 85-year-old's body was recovered from the water. FWC says a nuisance alligator trapper captured and killed the alligator.
According to the FWC, an alligator may be considered a nuisance if it's at least 4 feet long and believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property. The agency uses contracted alligator trappers to remove any animals threatening public safety through its Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP).
Florida has about 1.3 million alligators throughout the state, FWC adds.
Anyone concerned about a possible nuisance alligator should call the FWC's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
You can find more resources about living with alligators at MyFWC.com/Alligator.