South Carolina Department of Natural Resources spokesman David Lucas tells news outlets that it happened in the Sun City retirement community on Monday night.
Lucas says a 68-year-old woman was walking her dog about 10 p.m. near her house, which is also near several ponds. He says the 8-to-9-foot-long gator bit the woman on the wrist and leg.
The woman was treated at the scene and later transported to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.
The dog ran away during the attack and was not harmed.
An alligator control agent was called in and the gator was captured and euthanized.
Gator attacks on humans are rare in the area, but the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office still urged residents to “be careful,” especially during night time, Good Morning America reported.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 14, 2019
In a similar incident in the same area last year, a woman was killed by an alligator while trying to protect her dog from the gator.
In a statement on Aug. 20, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call at around 9:30 a.m. that someone was attacked by an alligator near the Sea Pines Plantation, a resort community on Hilton Head Island. Deputies then saw a body in a nearby lagoon.
“When they arrived, fire personnel located the deceased woman inside of the lagoon and recovered her body, while deputies interviewed witnesses. Witness accounts indicate that the woman—who will be identified after her next of kin are notified—was walking her dog near the lagoon when she was attacked and pulled underwater by the alligator,” according to the release from the sheriff’s office.
The Post and Courier reported that 45-year-old Cassandra Cline was identified as the slain woman.
An alligator dragged and killed a woman after she tried to rescue her dog from the reptile at a private South Carolina resort. Cassandra Cline, 45, was walking near a lagoon on the property of her vacation home Monday when the deadly attack happened. https://t.co/ZltUEIYLIt pic.twitter.com/Na5Ty9svbV
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 21, 2018
The gator, estimated at about eight feet in length, was captured by 11 a.m. local time and was killed, David Lucas, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, confirmed.
Local authorities said the fatal alligator attack is the first one in decades in South Carolina, ABC News reported. Other than Cline’s death, there has been only one reported death in the past 42 years. But it remains a mystery as to whether alligators caused that woman’s death.
“It was in 2016,” Lucas told ABC. “A lady wandered off from a nursing home and she was found [deceased] in a pond, bitten pretty badly. But we don’t—know and I don’t think we’ll ever be able to determine because there were no witnesses—whether she fell in and was then bitten, or whether she was attacked and then dragged into the pond.”
The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.