An individual was killed on Friday after being dragged into a retention pond by an alligator close to Myrtle Beach, S.C., the first such lethal assault in the state since 2020, the authorities stated.
Fatal alligator assaults are uncommon in the United States, usually occurring about as soon as a year, however the newest was the second in lower than a month. The physique of a man who had been retrieving Frisbees from a lake in Largo, Fla., which serves as a habitat for alligators, was discovered on May 31.
In Friday’s killing, the authorities responded round 11:45 a.m. to a water-rescue name, the Horry County Police Department stated in a assertion. Rescuers “determined that an alligator took hold of a neighbor who was near the edge of a retention pond and retreated” into it, the division stated in a assertion.
A biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and an alligator-removal contractor decided that the animal wanted to be “humanely euthanized on site,” the police stated.
Messages left for the division weren’t instantly returned on Sunday. The authorities didn’t launch the sufferer’s identify, gender, age or different circumstances about the assault. An investigation into the dying is constant, the police stated.
Jason Repak, who lives in the identical neighborhood as the sufferer, snapped a photo of three alligators behind his condominium final month and posted it on social media.
“I couldn’t have imagined that it was likely one of these alligators that would later kill a man,” he wrote on Friday. “My prayers and heart go out to the family as my arms wrap tighter around my kids and dogs near these ponds.”
In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Repak stated it was frequent to look at alligators stroll on a highway over a pair of retention ponds. Now and then, he’ll see images in the native information media of an alligator out and about, he stated.
“We’ve always looked at the alligators as a part of the community,” he stated. “Everybody treats them with a healthy respect. You try to maintain distance from the banks, and when you see them out, you admire them from afar. They’re a part of nature.”
He known as Friday’s dying “a tragic, freak accident.”
Alligators are largely concentrated in Florida and Louisiana however are current in a number of different states. In South Carolina, they are often present in the state’s coastal marshlands, in keeping with the Department of Natural Resources.
Deadly alligator assaults on people are uncommon. According to a 2019 University of Florida analysis, venomous accidents — largely from contact with hornets, wasps and bees — resulted in a mean of greater than 56 fatalities per year in the United States, in contrast with about one per year from alligator assaults.
The dying on Friday was the first from an alligator assault in South Carolina since May 2020, when 58-year-old Cynthia Covert was dragged into a pond behind her pal’s dwelling on Kiawah Island, close to Charleston, according to The Post and Courier.
She noticed an alligator and was fascinated by it and went to the touch it, in opposition to her pal’s warning. As mates tried to yank her from the alligator’s grasp, she calmly stated, “I guess I won’t do this again,” moments earlier than the alligator rolled and pulled her beneath the water, the newspaper reported.
The sufferer in the May assault in Florida was recognized as Sean Thomas McGuinness. The police imagine that Mr. McGuinness, 47, had entered the lake in John S. Taylor Park at evening. An individual strolling their canine found his physique alongside the shoreline the subsequent morning, the police stated.