A Deltona, Florida homeowner, who wished not to be identified, had just let his chocolate lab Winston out into his backyard.
He looked outside and noticed his dog sniffing around in the backyard which was normal. Then, when we went outside, he suddenly noticed a large alligator near the fence which his dog was inspecting. Just as he spotted it, the gator then lunged for his dog, getting ahold of it. The man ran to get his gun.
The gator had the dog locked by the head in its jaws as the dog struggled to break free. The owner came forward with a pistol and shot the alligator four times in the skull, killing it instantly. The dog will live and has minor injuries, but the incident jarred both owner and dog.
The owner said his heart dropped when he saw the incident unfold, saying, "If I'd been 20 seconds later, I'd probably have a dead dog."
Per the homeowner, "The game warden said that most likely because it’s breeding season – leading up to the alligator breeding season – a lot of the alligators are going to be out, and they’re going to be looking for potential mates. They’re going to be a little more aggressive."
Per Fish and Wildlife authorities, If you live anywhere near water, ensure you are keeping your yard and brush trimmed to help survey and see gators, which often lurk and wait to ambush prey.
In this case, the warden believes the gator got through from a neighbor's broken fence because the property was right on a small nearby lake.
A problem that is emerging in Florida
There are currently around 10 alligator attacks per year in Florida and approximately one million alligators in the state. Gators are labeled a nuisance species went they are more than 4 feet long—which is when they start becoming a threat to people, pets, and property. There are more than 10,000 nuisance gator reports per year.
According to Inside Science, a science news publication, gator attacks in Florida have been on the rise and will likely continue increasing along with Florida's rapid growth and urbanization.
Game officials warn that you should not leave small children and pets unattended near lakes known to have gator populations and to beware of steep embankments and inclines, which could lead to unintentional falls into the water, which led to an alligator killing a North Carolina woman in August.
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