Husband Makes Frantic 911 Call After Gator Attacks Wife: 'Her Right Hand Is Almost Chewed Off'
A newly released 911 call includes the moment a South Carolina husband frantically sought help for his wife after she was attacked by an alligator.
Deborah Cook, 68, was walking her dog in the Sun City retirement community on Hilton Head Island around 10 p.m. when an 8-to-9-foot alligator attacked, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and Inside Edition, which identified the woman.
Deborah’s husband, Gary, rushed to her and called 911, going on to describe Deborah’s wounds to the dispatcher.
“It was the right leg and her right hand is almost chewed off,” Gary is heard saying in the audio obtained by Inside Edition. “I’m holding the flesh onto her.”
Gary said his wife was laying in their backyard and the alligator was back in the lagoon. In the call, Deborah is heard saying, “Help me.”
“I’m trying to, Debbie, I’m trying to. Hold on,” he’s heard saying. “You’ll be alright, Debbie. You’ve just got a bad bite on your leg.”
The dog fled and was unharmed, according to the Associated Press. The woman was treated at the scene and taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.
Two alligators matching the woman’s description were captured and euthanized in the wake of the incident, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office tells PEOPLE. The incident is under investigation.
VIDEO: Woman Killed by 8-Foot Alligator While Walking Dog in Gated Golf Community in Hilton Head, S.C.
The attack comes nearly a year after Cassandra Cline’s death at age 45.
Cline was walking her dog near a lagoon on the same 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.
David Lucas, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, told told ABC News that Cline was still alive when she was pulled from the water, but died at the scene.
“I hate to hear this has happened again,” local resident Debra Porter said, according to the AP, in the wake of the attack on Cook. “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.”