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Woman, 88, killed by 9ft alligator after slipping while gardening

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Nancy Becker, Sun City, 88 yr old woman killed in alligator attack in South Carolina.
Nancy Becker Sun City alligator attack
Nancy Becker, Sun City, 88 yr old woman killed in alligator attack in South Carolina.

Nancy Becker, Sun City, 88 year old South Carolina woman killed in alligator attack after slipping into pond while gardening at gated residence. 

An elderly woman has died after being attacked by an alligator after falling into a pond while gardening at her South Carolina residence. The attack occurred as the predator was lurking in the vicinity.

Nancy A. Becker, 88, was identified as the victim mauled by a suspected 9 ft alligator at a gated adult community city just north of Savannah. The attack according to reports occurred just on 11.15 am, Monday morning at Sun City Hilton Head. 

The woman’s death is the fourth confirmed fatal alligator attack in the United States this year and second one in South Carolina.

Emergency services arrived and located the alligator, as it seemingly ‘guarded’ the deceased victim, WTOC reports.

The alligator has since been removed from the pond and euthanized, according to officials.

‘they’re very fast, anywhere from 15 to 30 miles an hour on land’

Authorities said that the elderly resident had been gardening near the pond on Monday morning when she slipped into the water. She was unable to get out in time before the alligator struck.

Major Angela Viens, of Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, said officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources were able to capture the alligator at 3pm. The animal was soon after euthanized according to the Island Packet

Sun City Hilton Head is a sprawling community of over 16,000 active, elder residents. Viens estimates that there are over 200 ponds and lagoons in the community.

Several residents said they’re very aware of that constant danger and always have an eye out for alligators.

‘Oh, they’re very fast, anywhere from 15 to 30 miles an hour on land, and they can climb,’ local resident, Marvin Margolies said according to WYMT.

‘You’ve got to be real careful where you walk your dogs. You don’t leave your dogs out at night,’ another local, Alan Rosenthal said.

Monday’s attack follows that of another South Carolina resident who was killed by an alligator near a pond just up the coast just outside Myrtle Beach on June 24.

What are the odds of an alligator attack? 

Two more alligator deaths have been recorded this year in Florida. One a 47-year old man apparently searching for a frisbee on May 31 and another an elderly woman, 80, who fell into a pond near a golf course on July 15.

47-year-old Sean Thomas McGuinness‘ body was found missing three limbs at the lake at the John S Taylor Park in Largo, Florida.

Investigators now believe he had gone into the 53-acre freshwater lake looking for UFOs when he was attacked.

The elderly woman, identified as Rose Marie Wiegand, attracted the predators with her panicked splashing.

Investigators say that as Wiegand was struggling to stay afloat at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club in Englewood, as two alligators were seen swimming toward her. 

They then grabbed her before she could escape. 

Despite the above incidents, alligator attacks are very rare, according to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The agency claims an individual has more chance of being attacked by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park than attacked by an alligator in Florida. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimated there are 1.3 million alligators in the state, the Miami Herald reports, but the state only averages ‘eight unprovoked alligator bites each year.’

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