Woman walking dog killed by alligator at residential lake

CROC WISE

Mark Murray

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Wildlife officers assess the site in South Carolina where a woman was killed by an alligator. IMAGE: Credit - Drew Martin, The Island Packet.
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 - Crocodile snatches pet dog from Port Douglas lake


A SMALL resort town in the USA is reeling after an alligator killed a woman as she walked her dog near a residential lake.

The circumstances are eerily similar to an incident at Ferndale Lake in Port Douglas earlier this year when a 2.5 metre crocodile took a pet dog in front of a father and son.

The woman, 45, was believed to be protecting her border collie from the alligator, also 2.5 metres, during her daily walk before being dragged into a golf course lagoon in South Carolina yesterday.

"She was walking the dog near the lagoon and the alligator came out of the water and tried to get the dog," David Lucas from South Carolina Department of Natural Resources told reporters.

“The lady tried to rescue the dog and a maintenance worker ran over to help. Both were trying to save the dog, but the alligator dragged the woman into the water.”

Alligators, like estuarine crocodiles, typically perform a death roll under water to drown their prey.

The Port Douglas incident, in February, involved a large bullmastiff being taken from the waters edge along a popular walking trail.

The Department of Environment and Science has reminded the Douglas Shire community 'to be croc wise' as crocodiles begin to increase their movements as water temperatures rise.

A spokesperson told Newsport today that residents should be extra vigilant with children and pets near waterways, particularly during the warmer months.

The last reported crocodile sighting in Port Douglas was at the Mirage Country Club on July 29. The department said wildlife officers have performed multiple surveys and risk assessments at the golf course and are monitoring further reports.

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Meanwhile, the results of a current crocodile population survey in Queensland are a expected to be released later next year, with a detailed report to be tabled in 2020.

The night time vessel-based surveys are being conducting from Gladstone to Cape York Peninsula and the adjoining Gulf of Carpentaria, as well as daytime helicopter surveys of coastal waterways from the Hinchinbrook Channel to the Daintree River.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the department had removed 'record numbers' of problem crocodiles over the past couple of years, with 84 removed in 2017, most of which came from the populated east coast between Townsville and Port Douglas.

“The results of this survey will provide scientifically-sound information on the estuarine crocodile population in Queensland that will be used to directly inform ongoing management arrangement for crocodiles," she said.

“Once the results from the crocodile monitoring program are fully analysed, they will allow us to review our overall approach to crocodile management and how best to communicate about how to stay Crocwise in Croc country.”

 

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