Tallahassee, FL

A 9-Foot Alligator Snatches and Kills a 40-Pound Labrador in Tallahassee – The Reptile Was Later Trapped and Euthanized

Toby Hazlewood

The gator "took him down like it was nothing" says owner

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Alligator warning signPhoto by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

Another alligator attack was reported on June 17 - a 9-foot gator snatched a 40-pound Labrador-retriever cross-breed named Toby. The dog and its owner were playing catch in a Tallahassee park near some shallow water.

The attack occurred at the J.R. Alford Greenway Trail when dog owner Joshua Wells was exercising his dog, Toby in the park. The gator suddenly appeared from nearby water and snatched the dog before disappearing back in the water. Mr Wells tried to grab the gator but then quickly let go after realizing how big the reptile actually was.

Trappers later caught the gator and euthanized it. The dog's remains were returned to his owner who later held a burial for his pet.

Gator snatches dog

Four years ago, a similar attack occurred in Pinellas County when another 9-foot gator attacked and killed a bigger dog - in this case the animal weighed 75-pounds. That gator wasn't caught at the time and Pinellas County Sheriffs warned local dog owners and parents to be aware of a the danger of gator attacks.

An alligator attacks and kills a man

Alligators attacks on other animals are more common than attacks on humans. However,on May 31 - also in Pinellas County, a homeless man was killed in an apparent attack by an alligator. It appears as though the victim had been in water near a disc-golf course trying to retrieve lost frisbees to sell to golfers.

The water was known to be a habitat for gators and the man clearly disturbed one or more of the enormous reptiles.

Gator attacks are thankfully rare

The attack by a gator on Toby, the Labrador in Tallahassee is very sad. Thankfully, at least gator attacks on humans are rare.

A 2005 study reported just 376 alligator attacks since 1948. However, it has been observed that gator attacks are on the increase from around 6 per year in 1971 to around 10 per year between 1987 and 2017.

Hopefully the number of attacks will remain low, and dog owners throughout the state will bear in mind that many of Florida's waterways contain gators that could be a danger to their dogs.

Have you (or your dog) encountered one of Florida's native reptiles or other predators? Let me know in the comments section below.

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