Woman Suffers 'Life-Changing Injuries' in Alligator Attack While Walking Dog in South Carolina
A 68-year-old woman is recovering after being bitten by an 8-to-9-foot alligator while walking her dog near her Hilton Head Island home — and the attack comes almost exactly one year after the death of Cassandra Cline, who died trying to save her dog from an alligator on the same island.
The latest attack occurred Monday night in the Sun City retirement community, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources spokesman David Lucas told news outlets, according to the Associated Press. The woman was walking her dog near her home around 10 p.m. when the gator emerged and bit her on the wrist and leg.
The dog fled and was unharmed, the AP reported. The unnamed woman was treated at the scene and taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.
“I hate to hear this has happened again,” local resident Debra Porter said, according to the AP. “It’s a terrible thing that has happened. But what can you do, they’re animals. If you have a little dog walking — especially close to the water — to [the alligator], that’s food.”
Authorities said the woman was walking her dog between her yard and her neighbor’s yard at the time, according to WTOC. Authorities found and captured an alligator but officials with DNR said they have no way to know if the captured gator is the exact one that attacked, WTOC reported.
VIDEO: Woman Killed by 8-Foot Alligator While Walking Dog in Gated Golf Community in Hilton Head, S.C.
The incident is under investigation.
“Unfortunately, we did find an adult patient that had engaged in some capacity with a gator,” Captain Lee Levesque, of the Bluffton Township Fire District, told WTOC. “While we wouldn’t say they were life-threatening injuries, they were certainly life-changing injuries.”
The attack comes nearly a year after Cline’s death at age 45.
Cline was walking her dog near a lagoon on the island on the morning of Aug. 20 when an 8-foot alligator attacked. Officials believe she was protecting her dog when she was attacked and pulled underwater by the alligator, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The dog survived the incident.
The DNR’s Lucas told ABC News that Cline was still alive when she was pulled from the water, but died at the scene.