Alligator Killed 50-Pound Pit Bull On College Campus

An alligator killed a 50-pound pit bull on a college campus in Florida on the evening of March 9.

At approximately 7:45 p.m. a person called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to report a pit bull was taken by an alligator at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota in Venice campus. FWC confirmed the dog was a 50-pound pit bull.

A nuisance alligator trapper was also called to the scene and removed two alligators from the area. One gator measured 6'9″ and the other measured 7'10", WBBH-TV reported.

Alligators are opportunistic feeders and prey on easily accessible species such as small mammals, birds, fish, and snakes, according to FWC. While the average female alligator can grow up to 10 feet long, the longest alligator in Florida state history was more than 14 feet long and the largest weighed 1,043 pounds.

But experts say serious injuries caused by unprovoked alligator attacks are "rare," with the chances of a Florida resident being seriously injured from an unprovoked alligator attack being roughly 1 in 3.1 million. Since 1948, 28 people have died as a result of an alligator attack.

In the past 10 years, Florida averaged eight unprovoked alligator bites a year which resulted in injuries that required medical attention.

Since pets often resemble alligators' preferred prey, FWC warns people to keep their pets on short leashes and far away from the water's edge.

It is also not recommended for pets to swim or drink near or in any fresh bodies of water including designated swimming areas.

"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."

While attacks on humans are much rarer, it is important to be aware of one's surroundings, especially while swimming in brackish freshwater as the weather gets warmer.

FWC also warns people to only swim during daylight hours because alligators tend to be most active at dusk and dawn.

Individuals who encounter an alligator and believe it may pose a threat to property, pets, or people are encouraged to contact the FWC's Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 1‐866‐FWC‐GATOR (392‐4286).

The Nuisance Alligator Program hires contracted alligator trappers around Florida to safely remove alligators that are longer than 4 feet.

It is illegal to kill, harass, or feed alligators without an appropriate permit. If an alligator bites a human, the FWC recommends fighting back while making as much noise as possible.

"Hitting or kicking the alligator or poking it in its eyes may cause it to release its grip," FWC said. "When alligators seize prey they cannot easily overpower, they will often let go and retreat."

Newsweek reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission but did not receive a comment in time for publication.

Alligator Kills Pit Bull
An alligator in Florida attacked and killed a 50-pound pit bull near a college campus on Wednesday evening. Pets are usually at higher risk of an alligator attack than humans because they more closely resemble their preferred prey. Joe Raedle/Getty Images