HILTON HEAD, S.C. - Officials say an unidentified woman walking her dog was killed in an apparent alligator attack on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, according to ABC News.
The incident happened Monday morning, around 9:30 a.m. near the golf course at Sea Pines Plantation.
If confirmed, it would be the first fatal alligator attack in decades in South Carolina, local officials told ABC News.
A witness said they saw the woman walking her dog near the lagoon when she was attacked and pulled under the water by the alligator, according to Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Bob Bromage.
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Monday’s attack was near a freshwater pond, according to David Lucas of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
A maintenance worker witnessed the attack, Lucas told ABC News.
“They were able to get her out of the water and she was still alive, but she died at the scene," Lucas said.
Bromage said officials believe the woman, whose name has not been released, may have been walking a dog at the time of the attack.
Officials said the reptile was about 8 feet long.
No other details have been released at this time.
Lucas said other than not feeding alligators, people should always be aware of their surroundings if they’re in an alligator-friendly habitat — which he said is just about any body of fresh water in the Lowcountry region — and not throw anything at alligators in the water.
There has only been one reported death related to an alligator in the past 42 years in South Carolina, and it remains a mystery whether alligators actually caused that death, Lucas said.
“It was in 2016,” he said. “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.”
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.
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