11-Foot Alligator Attacks and Kills Florida Woman, 85, Who Was Walking Her Dog

The woman was walking with her small dog when she was pulled into the water by the alligator, which also attempted to "take her dog," officials say

An 85-year old woman was attacked and killed by an alligator on Monday in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE.

The incident took place at a 55-plus living community near the city of Fort Pierce, according to FOX 35 Orlando and local news station WPTV 5. The alligator was estimated to be about 11 feet long and weighed 600 to 700 lbs., per the latter outlet.

Authorities say the woman, identified as Gloria Serge, "was walking her small dog along a retention pond in her community" when the alligator "pulled her into the water after attempting to take her dog," according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"The victim died as a result of the incident and has been recovered," added the spokesperson, who went on to note that serious injuries stemming from alligator attacks are rare in Florida.

Residents told WPTV 5 that the woman — whose name has not yet been released — was walking her dog just after noon on Monday when an alligator approached and snatched her dog.

The dog survived the attack, according to WPTV 5.

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Witnesses to the attack called 911 resulting in a response from the FWC and the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, according to the FWC.

A nuisance alligator trapper was dispatched to St. Lucie County following the tragic incident, according to the FWC.

"It was definitely a fight," nuisance alligator trapper Robert Lilly told WPTV 5. "[We] snagged him on the bottom. He never surfaced. He stayed down the whole time. We were able to get a second hook in him and a hard line in him so we could get him up."

"Our prayers go out to the loved ones of the victim and the Spanish Lakes' residents who knew the victim and witnessed the attack," Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement released on Facebook.

In their statement to PEOPLE, the FWC said the organization "places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property."

Around 1.3 million alligators live in Florida, according to the FWC's website. In 2021, nearly 9,500 nuisance alligators — described as being at least 4 feet in length and posing "a threat to people, pets or property" — were killed in the state.

Under the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP), the FWC aims "to proactively address alligator threats in developed areas, while conserving alligators in areas where they naturally occur."

Anyone concerned about a nuisance alligator in Florida is asked to call the FWC's toll-free hotline at (866) 392-4286.

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