Hilton Head Island
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September 2, 2021
A Hilton Head Island woman was bitten by an eight-foot alligator this morning in Hilton Head Plantation.
Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue responded to call at 8:19 am about an alligator incident. Following treatment at the scene, the woman was transported to Memorial Health in Savannah. The victim was walking her small dog around the lagoon near Rookery Way when the incident occurred. The dog was not harmed.
According to Fire Rescue personnel, a witness heard commotion near the lagoon located near her home. She investigated and found the victim in the water with an alligator latched on to her lower leg(s). The witness entered the water and tried to pull the victim back to safety.The witness’s husband joined the rescue efforts and together they were able to free the woman and call 911.
In addition to Fire Rescue personnel, Hilton Head Plantation security and administrative staff, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies and SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers were at the scene. DNR arranged for removal and euthanization of the alligator, and plan to examine its contents to determine if had been fed, said DNR spokesman David Lucas. When fed, alligators overcome their natural wariness and can begin to associate people with food.
Lucas said other details about the attack are still under investigation.
"This is an unfortunate incident. We advise residents to be aware of their surroundings, especially if they are taking walks with small pets near lagoons that are habitats for alligators," said Joheida Fister, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Deputy Chief.
Joheida Fister, Deputy Fire Chief of Administration / Fire Marshal
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