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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a deadly alligator attack that occurred on Monday in Fort Pierce.
On Tuesday, officials identified the woman as 85-year-old Gloria Serge.
The incident took place around noon in Spanish Lakes Fairways, a 55-plus community, where according to neighbors, Serge was walking her dog was dragged into the water and killed by a 10-foot alligator.
Witnesses said the alligator came up to them and took hold of the dog. In an attempt to free her pet from the alligator’s grip, Serge grappled with the gator and was bitten.
A neighbor, identified only as Carol, said she tried to help Serge, but was too late.
“I just remember her pushing her hair out of her face and getting air, and I’m saying ‘swim’…. and she’s saying I can’t the gator has me,” she told WPBF. “It just haunts me right now. There’s nothing I could do, I could not get in the water.”
Serge succumbed to her injuries shortly after the attack, according to FWC officials.
Rescuers recovered the woman’s body from the scene. Her dog survived.
The alligator involved in the attack was trapped as a result. Trappers say the gator was between 600 and 700 pounds.
“[The gator] fought pretty good. Definitely fought pretty good,” Robert Lilly, Nuisance Alligator Trapper, said. “Snagged him on the bottom. He never surfaced. He stayed down the whole time. Got a second hook in him and then a hard line in him so we could get him up.”
Neighbors react to tragedy:
Although alligator attacks are very rare, these creatures can still endanger individuals, pets, and property. In the event that an alligator is spotted, authorities advise individuals to maintain a safe distance and refrain from feeding it. Any instances of nuisance alligators can be reported by dialing the FWC’s toll-free hotline at 866-392-4286.
Last summer, an 80-year-old woman died from an alligator attack in Englewood. Officials said they believed Rose Marie Wiegand fell into a pond located at Boca Royale Golf and Country Club before the alligators grabbed her as she struggled in the water.
Responding crews reported seeing the alligators dragging the victim in the water.