Alligator Attack Leaves Man Dead as Reptile Drags Victim Into Pond

Local law enforcement said Friday that an alligator killed a man in Horry County, South Carolina, after dragging him into a retention pond.

The Horry County Police Department (HCPD) said in a statement on its Facebook that Horry County Fire Rescue responded to a water rescue call around 11:45 a.m. in the area of Excalibur Court outside Myrtle Beach.

Police officers and units from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources also came to assist. While at the scene, the units found that the alligator "took a hold of a neighbor who was near the edge of a retention pond and retreated" back into the water.

Alligator Attack Leaves Man Dead
Authorities said Friday that an alligator killed a man in Horry County, South Carolina, after dragging him into a pond. Above, an alligator lays on grass near a canal in Everglades National Park, Florida, on September 30, 2021. Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Authorities decided to remove the alligator from the pond, and determined that it should be euthanized on site. The HCPD's Environmental Services and Criminal Investigations Division is currently investigating the man's death whose body was recovered from the pond.

"Our hearts go out to the family and community members impacted by this tragic incident," the HCPD added in its statement.

Newsweek reached out to the Horry County Police Department for comment.

When Alligators Attack

A similar incident happened in Florida last month when a 47-year-old man was killed by an alligator while he was looking for a lost frisbee in the waters of John S. Taylor Park.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was called to the scene, along with a trapper. Nearby residents were urged to avoid the water at any time, especially during alligator mating season, which is from April through June, when the reptiles become more aggressive.

Also in Florida where around 1.3 million alligators live across all 67 counties, a 7-foot-alligator bit a man who was walking around a motel earlier this month. However, experts said that it's "rare" for alligators to attack humans in unprovoked situations. The FWC stated that 442 people were victims of unprovoked alligator attacks, including 26 fatalities, between 1948 to 2021.

Alligators are "opportunistic feeders", according to the FWC, and usually prey on easily accessible species such as small animals, birds, fish, and snakes.

"Dogs are more susceptible to being bitten than humans because dogs resemble the natural prey of alligators," the FWC said. "The sound of dogs barking and playing may draw an alligator to the area."

Last week, an alligator attacked and ate a 40-pound dog that was playing fetch with his owner in Florida's J.R. Alford Greenway Trail. The black Labrador retriever mix was standing up to his elbows in the water when a 9-foot-alligator grabbed the dog head-first and dragged it into the water.

"Boom, the water just sort of exploded," the dog's owner Josh Wells said, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. "He never barked. He never saw it."

Similarly, an alligator killed a 50-pound pit bull in March on the State College of Florida campus.