An 88-year-old woman in South Carolina was killed by an alligator on Monday after she apparently slipped into a pond while gardening, officials said.
The body of Nancy Becker was discovered around 11:15 a.m. at the edge of the water in Sun City Hilton Head, a gated senior living community in Bluffton, by another resident, who told sheriff’s deputies the alligator appeared to be “guarding” the body.
“When we responded, that’s what we observed — that the alligator was basically holding her hostage, I guess,” Major Angela Viens, with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, told the station WJCL.
It took first responders two hours to retrieve Becker’s body. The reptile, a male measuring 9 feet, 8 inches long, was captured by officials with the state Department of Natural Resources and euthanized.
An autopsy on Becker will be performed later on Tuesday.
This marks the fifth alligator death in South Carolina since 2000, and the second so far this year.
On June 24, the Horry County Police Department said an alligator dragged a man into a pond. Prior to that attack, authorities said, the state had not recorded any in two years.
In May 2020, a woman was attacked and killed by an alligator in the gated community where she’d gone to do a homeowner’s nails.
A 90-year-old woman walked out of a Charleston nursing home in 2016 and was killed, while a 45-year-old woman walking her dog was fatally attacked on Hilton Head Island in August 2018.
With Post wires