An alligator killed a 50 pound pit bull on a college campus in Florida earlier this month. The attack happened around 8 p.m. on March 9. Someone called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to report the attack. They said that a dog had been taken by a gator at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota in Venice campus. The FWC confirmed that the dog was a 50 pound pit bull.
A nuisance alligator trapper was also called to the scene of the attack. There, the trapper removed not one but two gators from the area. One gator measured 6’9″ and the other measured 7’10”. The average female gator can grow up to 10 feet long. However, the longest gator in FL state history was more than 14 feet long. The largest gator in the state’s history weight 1,043 pounds.
50 Pound Pit Bull Mistaken For Alligator Prey
This poor dog had been mistaken for natural prey for the gator. In fact, it happens often. Pets look a lot like a gator’s preferred meal. Thus, the FWC warns people to keep all pets on short leases and far away from water. On top of that, it’s usually not recommended for pets to swim or drink near or in any fresh bodies of water. That includes designated swimming areas. It’s likely that a gator could be lurking just beneath the surface.
Even if a gator isn’t looking for his next meal, pets could draw them out. The sound of dogs barking and playing can attract alligators to the area. It’s unknown if the gator was already in the area when it attacked the pit bull or if it appeared suddenly.
Alligators are opportunistic feeders, so they eat whatever is available to them. That usually includes small mammals, birds, fish, and snakes, according to the FWC. But in some cases, a pet may be the most convenient meal nearby.
Humans Are Rarely At Risk
When we think of FL, we often think of gators around every turn. And it can sure feel that way, especially when they run off with pets. However, experts say that serious human injuries caused by gators are rare. An average FL resident only has about a 1 in 3.1 million chance of getting hurt from an unprovoked alligator attack.
In the last 10 years, Newsweek reports that FL has averaged about eight unprovoked gator bites a year. The only bites that count for this are the ones that resulted in injuries that needed medical attention. Of course, when it comes to gator bites that’s probably most of them. The main point is that bites are rare.
Attacks on humans are rare, but it’s important to stay aware if you’re in gator territory. As the weather gets warmer, monitor all bodies of water, especially if they’re brackish.