Woman killed by alligator while trying to protect dog

The woman had been walking her dog at a private US resort when an alligator pulled her into a lagoon

Law enforcement with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources take pictures of the site where Cassandra Cline was dragged into a lagoon by an alligator and killed while trying to save her dog on Monday, August 20th, 2018, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA. Photograph: Drew Martin/The Island Packet via AP

Law enforcement with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources take pictures of the site where Cassandra Cline was dragged into a lagoon by an alligator and killed while trying to save her dog on Monday, August 20th, 2018, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA. Photograph: Drew Martin/The Island Packet via AP

 

A woman trying to protect her dog has been killed by an alligator which pulled her into a lagoon at a private US resort, authorities said.

Cassandra Cline, 45, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, was walking the dog along a residential area of Sea Pines Resort when she was attacked, officials said.

The 2.4m alligator was later found and put down, Sam Chappalear of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources told the Island Packet newspaper.

“It appears the alligator went after her dog and she tried to protect it,” Mr Chappalear said.

The dog was unharmed.

Blake Smith, 34, was leaving his house when he saw police cars and fire engines in the neighbourhood.

“I waited for about 30 minutes, then I started hearing rumours about what happened down the road from here,” he told the newspaper. “It’s odd because this is the first time we’ve heard about an aggressive alligator around a human in the five years that we’ve been living here.”

Mr Smith said alligators had been spotted in yards or pools, but Sea Pines had quickly removed them.

“They do a good job. This is just a sad incident,” he said. “I have a young son, so it’s kind of concerning to see something like this could happen.”

Sea Pines said in a statement that it is working with authorities “to ensure necessary access to the site while the investigation is under way”. – PA