(NEW YORK) — An unidentified woman has died from an apparent alligator attack on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina Monday morning, according to local authorities.
If confirmed, it would be the first fatal alligator attack in decades in South Carolina, local officials told ABC News.
Witnesses saw the woman being attacked near a golf course at Sea Pines Plantation, a gated community on Hilton Head, said Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Bob Bromage.
Monday’s attack on Hilton Head was near a fresh water 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.
A body has been recovered from a lagoon, Bromage said.
The victim was believed to be walking a dog at the time, Bromage said.
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.”
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