She Was Gardening Before She Was Killed by an Alligator

88-year-old was found dead near pond
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2022 3:00 AM CDT
She Was Gardening Before She Was Killed by an Alligator in South Carolina
An alligator is seen in a pond at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006.   (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman, File)

(Newser) – An 88-year-old South Carolina woman was killed by an alligator Monday in the country's fourth confirmed fatal gator attack this year. The woman was found after an alligator was spotted "guarding what was believed to be a person" near the edge of a pond in a gated 55-and-over community in Hilton Head, ABC News reports. It took two hours for responders to recover the woman's body due to the gator's guarding behavior, WJCL reports. She was identified as Nancy A. Becker, USA Today reports. Authorities say she had been gardening when she slipped into the pond. The alligator, a 9-foot, 8-inch male, was later removed from the water and euthanized.

Fatal alligator attacks are rare; this was the second in South Carolina this year but just the fifth one in the state since 2000. As temperatures rise in spring and summer, alligators' metabolism increases and they start getting more active as they search for food. They are most active at night, so people are advised to stay away from swimming areas at night and to keep their animals leashed and away from bodies of water. "We're always being told to look out. You know, be careful where you go, particularly if somebody's walking a dog or whatever," says another resident of the community. (Read more alligator stories.)

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