Alligator Kills Florida Woman's 100 Pound Dog Called 'Tank': 'All I Could Do Was Stand There and Watch My Dog Get Eat'

Authorities are investigating after a Florida woman said a 10-foot alligator ate her pet dog during their daily walk yesterday around a pond in Auburndale.

Cynthia Robinson, of Polk County, said she was walking her 100-pound pit bull, called Tank, at roughly 7 a.m. when a large alligator attacked it from behind, pulling the dog into the water. Robinson told WFLA the brutal attack made her large pet look like a Chihuahua.

"My dog didn't even know what happened to him. He had that look like, [he was] yelping. He was like 'Help me mama,' but I couldn't do nothing," she told the news outlet. "He came back up and I [spotted] my white dog in his mouth. He just sat there with my dog in his mouth."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was enlisted to help search for the gator responsible. The park where the pond is located was temporarily closed to the public.

"All I could do was stand there and watch my dog get eat," she said. "And I just don't want it to happen to no one else or a kid or anything." Robinson told Bay News 9 of her 6-year-old pup. "He was so fast. He took my dog, and he was gone... Tank didn't even stand a chance."

Tank had been playing in the water just prior to the attack, which occurred as he was leaving the pond, Robinson said. She estimated the alligator to be more than 11 feet long.

Gaye Sharpe, a director at the Polk County Parks and Natural Resources, told WFLA the dog likely looked like prey to the alligator if it was close to the water or had been splashing. FOX 13 reported that it has spotted an alligator "slowly moving along the surface" yesterday.

Woman in @PolkCountyFL loses 100lb. pit bull to big alligator during morning walk around retention pond. @MyFWC #Alligator @Auburndalegov @BN9 #bn9Polk

— Trevor Pettiford (@TrevorPettiford) August 8, 2019

According to the FWC, gators in the region are "opportunistic feeders." Despite noting serious attacks remain rare, the wildlife agency says the "potential for conflict always exists."

"Their diets include prey species that are abundant and easily accessible. Juvenile alligators eat primarily insects, amphibians, small fish, and other invertebrates. Adult alligators eat rough fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds," it says in an online fact-sheet describing the main diet of the apex predator.

The agency has warned: "Animals that resemble their natural prey, such as dogs and cats, are more susceptible to being bitten by crocodiles when in or near the water. Do not allow pets to swim, exercise, or drink in water that may contain crocodiles as they resemble natural prey items of crocodiles. Always keep pets at a safe distance from the water."

Last Friday, a Florida man was lucky to escape with only minor injuries after leaping into a canal to rescue his pet dog, a chocolate Labrador, from the jaws of an attacking alligator. A sanctioned trapper was sent to the scene and located the animal, which was more than 9 feet long.