One dead in Myrtle Beach area after alligator attack

An alligator dragged a Myrtle Beach area resident into a pond and killed them in a Friday morning attack, local police said.

Fire officials responded to a call in the Excalaber Court area outside Myrtle Beach at about 11:45 a.m. and removed both the victim and the alligator from the retention pond, police said in a Facebook post. Officials said the victim was “near the retention pond at the time of the initial incident” and that the alligator had “retreated into the retention pond” after taking hold of the local resident.

A biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, along with an alligator-removal service contracted by the department, “determined that the alligator should be humanely euthanized on site,” according to the Facebook post.

The Horry County Police Department is investigating the death, the department said.

The victim’s gender and age were not immediately available.

South Carolina is home to approximately 100,000 alligators, according to a guide published this year by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which also notes that “agent trappers harvest approximately 250-300 problem alligators annually in South Carolina.”

Earlier this month, a Florida man was bitten by a seven-foot alligator that he mistook for a dog.

In 2020, an alligator killed 58-year-old Cynthia Covert in a Kiawah Island, South Carolina attack, marking the third fatal alligator attack in state history since 2016. In 2018, an eight-foot-long alligator killed 45-year-old Cassandra Cline in Hilton Head Island, S.C. while she was walking her dog. And in 2016, an elderly woman found in a retention pool became the first recorded alligator death in the state’s history.

People should avoid feeding or photographing alligators in order to minimize the risk of attacks, according to the Myrtle Beach Sun News, which also notes that pets should be kept away from alligators.