An 85-year-old woman died Monday following an alligator bite, when the gator grabbed her while she was walking her dog near a pond in a St. Lucie County golf course community, wildlife officials said.
Firefighters recovered her body from Spanish Lakes Fairways off Interstate 95, near Fort Pierce.
The Floridspan Fish spannd Wildlife Conservspantion Commission officers and St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office deputies were sent to the 6700 block of Picante Circle for what they called an “alligator bite incident” following 911 calls. Below are details about the alligator attack and what we know.
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The woman was killed in the incident involving an alligator based on preliminary information from those who said they witnessed the event, said FWC spokesperson Arielle Callender.
“A contracted nuisance alligator trapper has captured the alligator involved in the incident,” she said. “The dog did survive the incident.”
St. Lucie County Fire District spokesperson Brenda Stokes said fire rescue workers were sent to the 6700 block of Picante Circle at 12:07 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, to recover a body.
“There was a incident with someone walking their dog,” Stokes said.
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She said fire rescue workers were sent to Picante Circle at 12:07 p.m. to recover a body.
“We arrived on scene within minutes and recovered her body, kept surveillance on the alligator with our helicopter and personnel around the lake, and assisted the FWC trapper with identifying the alligator and dragging it out of the water,” Sheriff Ken Mascara told TCPspanlm, part of the USA TODAY Network.
“Our prayers go out to the loved ones of the victim and the Spanish Lakes residents who knew the victim and witnessed the attack.”
He said the alligator was hooked and dragged out of the pond around 2:30 p.m.
Where did the alligator attack happen?
The incident occurred at Spanish Lakes Fairways off Interstate 95, which boasts a dog park and 18-hole golf course along with shuffleboard, pickleball and tennis courts among its amenities on 435 total acres and over six bodies of water.
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Where is Fort Pierce, Florida?
Fort Pierce is a beach town on the Treasure Coast in St. Lucie County, on the East Coast of Florida. With a population of just under 48,000, it is the oldest city on the Treasure Coast.
Fort Pierce is home to an idyllic downtown, an award-winning farmers market and some of the most beautiful beaches and waterways in Florida. It’s about 120 miles from Orlando and roughly 130 miles north of Miami.
TCPspanlm covers news in St. Lucie County, Martin County and Indian River County.
Are alligator attacks common in Florida?
According to a November 2021 report from the Floridspan Fish spannd Wildlife Conservation Commission:
- In 2021, there were seven major and three minor alligator bites.
- In 2020, there were eight major and four minor gator bites here.
- In 2019, there was one fatality in Florida, five major and five minor alligator bites.
- In 2018, there was one fatality here, nine major and one minor alligator bites on people.
The same report, which includes alligator bite stats on people in Florida from 1948 to 2021, show 26 fatalities, 303 major attacks and 139 minor attacks. It goes on to explain the types of bites: “All bites reported … are considered unprovoked bites. Unprovoked bites are defined as bites on people by wild alligators, which were not provoked by handling or intentional harassment.
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“Major bites are those in which the victims’ injuries required medical care, beyond first aid, to treat wounds. Minor bites are those in which the victims’ injuries were superficial and required no treatment or only first aid,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife report states.
If you see an alligator, who do you call?
For additional information concerning alligators, call the State Nuisance Alligator Program at 866-FWC-GATOR or 866-392-4286 or visit myfwc.com.