POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Wildlife officials say they will euthanize an 11-foot gator that killed a woman’s dog in Auburndale on Thursday.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said a trapper captured the gator in a retention pond around 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening.
They said the 350 to 400-pound reptile will be euthanized and harvested for its meat and hide.
Cynthia Robinson told WFLA the gator killed her dog “Tank” when the visited a park they go to nearly every day near Lake Mariana.
“It’s supposed to be a walk around. It’s supposed to not be dangerous,” said Robinson. “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.”
Experts recommend pet owners keep their dogs on leashes and out of the water to prevent them from being attacked by alligators.
“A dog being low to the ground is going to look like prey splashing around in the water. That’s the tragic part,” said Gaye Sharpe, Polk County Parks and Natural Resources division director.