FORT PIERCE, Fla. — An 85-year-old woman walking her dog was killed in an incident involving an alligator Monday in Fort Pierce, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission explains.
The woman was walking her dog by a pond at a retirement community in the area around noon when neighbors say a 10-foot alligator jumped out of the water and grabbed her, WPBF-TV reports.
FWC confirmed to 10 Tampa Bay that they arrived at Picante Circle at the Spanish Lakes Fairways Community after witnesses called 911 regarding the situation.
According to FWC, preliminary information indicates that the woman was killed during the incident with the alligator. Her body was recovered and a contracted nuisance alligator trapper captured the reptile involved in the incident, wildlife officials say.
"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the victim," the FWC said in a statement. "Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida.
"The FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property."
Anyone with concerns about an alligator is asked the call FWC's Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286. After calling, a contracted alligator trapper will be sent to the location of the report and take care of the situation, the FWC says.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post that Nuevo Logos Street, Aguila Avenue and Picante Circle are temporarily closed in the Spanish Lakes Fairways Community as authorities and the FWC continue to investigate the incident. Drivers in the area are asked to use alternative routes.
For those who happen to come across an alligator, some safety tips that the FWC says can help keep people safe are to never feed an alligator, swim only in designed swimming areas during daylight hours because alligators are most active during dusk and dawn and keep pets on a leash away from the water's edge and never let them swim in fresh or brackish water — even for short periods.
Find more resources about living with alligators at MyFWC.com/Alligator.