FWC: Alligator that killed Florida woman went after dog, then grabbed woman's foot

The FWC has released more details in the death of an 85-year-old woman in Fort Pierce, Florida, after she was attacked and killed by a large alligator on Monday.

According to the FWC's accident report, the woman, identified as Gloria Serge, was walking her dog by a retention pond behind her house in a Spanish Lakes community neighborhood when an approximate 10-foot alligator came out of the water and tried to get her dog.

The woman was knocked to the ground and the alligator bit her foot and dragged her into the water, the report said. The dog survived.

Alligator trappers with FWC's Nuisance Alligator Program found the alligator, trapped it, and killed it.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the victim," FWC said in a statement.

Alligator attacks in Florida

The FWC said alligator attacks against people are considered to be rare. Alligators typically do not attack people unless provoked, though female alligators can become aggressive during mating season or to protect their nests.

Alligators are "opportunistic feeders," according to the FWC's website, and primarily eat "fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds." Smaller alligators can eat insects, amphibians, and small fish.

According to the FWC's most recent numbers – last updated November 2021 – there have been 16 deadly alligator bites on people since 2000, and a total of 26 since 1948. Data for 2022 is not listed.

However, FOX 35 has reported on alligator attacks that happened in 2022.

According to the report, which is embedded below, there were 9 alligator bites reported in 2021, 12 in 2020, 10 in 2018 and 2019, and 12 in 2017. The last deadly incident reported was in 2019.

FWC: Alligator safety tips for Florida residents

  • Never feed an alligator
  • Keep pets away from water's edge
  • Swim during the day and in designated areas
  • If you see an alligator, keep you distance

Florida Nuisance Alligator Hotline

The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) has been established to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets, or property. People with concerns about an alligator should call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). 

To become an alligator trapper, you have to submit an application. Visit myfwc.com for more information.