Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

9-foot Florida alligator eats 40-pound dog, owner says: ‘Took him down like it was nothing’

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A family dog in Florida is now dead after a visit to the park took a turn for the worse.

Wildlife authorities said Joshua Wells was following his usual lunchtime routine earlier this month, where he would take his dog, a 40-pound black Labrador retriever named Toby, out for a walk and a quick game of fetch at a local park, when the pair were attacked by an alligator.

Wells and Toby traveled to the J.R. Alford Greenway Trail, a popular park in Tallahassee, for their usual outdoor activities, when an alligator that was just over 9 feet long leaped out from a nearby waterway, grabbed the dog by his head, and carried it back into the water.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: An alligator swims in the Florida Everglades on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 04: An alligator swims in the Florida Everglades on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The incident happened so fast that Wells said the dog never had time to respond.

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“Boom, the water just sort of exploded,” Wells told the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FOX 13 of Tampa Bay reported. “He never barked. He never saw it.”

“It took him down like it was nothing,” he added.

An alligator swims in the Florida Everglades on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

An alligator swims in the Florida Everglades on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Wells told officials he attempted to rescue the family pup by grabbing the gator but quickly reconsidered the decision when he saw its size.

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“He said he soon realized that was not a good idea and let the alligator go,” the FWC report said.

The incident happened on June 9, and wildlife officials who responded to the scene were able to track down the alligator.

An alligator swims in the Florida Everglades on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

An alligator swims in the Florida Everglades on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FWC Officer Benjamin Johnson said later the alligator measured 9 feet, 2-inches in length.

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A trapper later discovered the remains of the dog’s body in the same area the alligator was found.

The dog was not leashed at the time of the incident. The wildlife agency encourages anyone who travels to areas near water to keep pets on leashes.



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