Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

An 80-year-old woman was killed by two alligators after she fell into a pond near her house in Englewood, Fla., on Friday night, the authorities said.

Fatal alligator attacks are rare in the United States, typically occurring about once a year, but the latest was at least the third in the United States since May. The body of a man who had been retrieving Frisbees from a lake in Largo, Fla., was found on May 31. And in June, a man was killed after being dragged into a retention pond by an alligator in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In the latest attack, the woman struggled to stay afloat after falling into the pond at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club community and was then seized by two alligators, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said. Club officials could not be immediately reached on Sunday.

The victim, who was not publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. An official cause of death has not been determined by the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sent a contracted trapper who removed two alligators from the pond and euthanized them, said Adam Brown, commission spokesman. One alligator was 8 feet 10 inches long and the other measured 7 feet 7 inches long.

Alligators live throughout Florida and survive in fresh, brackish and salt waters, according to the commission, which estimates the state has more than one million of the large reptiles.

Alligators are “more visible and active” in the warmer months when their metabolism rises and they search for food, Mr. Brown said. But they rarely bite people and fatalities are infrequent. The chance of a Florida resident being seriously injured is roughly one in 3.1 million, the commission said.

Last year, nine people in Florida were bitten by alligators in unprovoked attacks, according to the commission’s records.

The risk of a fatal alligator attack is low compared with the likelihood of other accidental deaths in the state, according a 2019 analysis by the University of Florida.

“Alligators are opportunistic feeders and will eat animals that are readily available to them,” the commission reported. “They prefer to go after prey they can overpower easily.”



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