8-Foot Alligator Drags South Carolina Woman into Lagoon, Neighbor Saves Her With a Shovel

by Josh Lanier

A woman walking her dog last week on Hilton Head Island nearly died after an alligator jumped out of a nearby marsh and tried to pull her in. A quick-thinking neighbor saved her life.

The woman, whose name wasn’t released, was walking along the marsh side of the island when the alligator bit her legs. The 8-foot monster began dragging her back into the murky waters, Newsweek said. One of her neighbors in the gated community rushed over to help. But she couldn’t pry her from the alligator’s mouth.

She screamed for her husband who ran out and clubbed the gator with a shovel. After a few whacks to the snout, the scaly creature ran away with an empty stomach.

First responders rushed her to a nearby hospital. Her daughter told a local news outlet that she was OK.

The woman’s dog was not injured, The Island Packet reported.

Wildlife officials are trying to suss out why the alligator attacked her. Generally, alligators don’t attack humans. Only under certain circumstances will a gator go after a two-legged meal. But oftentimes what experts learn after an attack is that people had previously fed the gator.

It’s unclear if that’s the case here. But David Lucas, a spokesperson from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources told WSAV that his department wanted to find out. His department captured and euthanized the alligator to learn more about the attack and keep it from doing it again.

Lucas implored people to not feed alligators. It causes the animals to associate humans with food.

Police Identify Man Killed By Alligator in Louisiana

A day after Hurricane Ida tore through Louisiana, Timothy Satterlee told his wife he wanted to survey the damage in their backyard. There was extensive flooding, and he wanted to see if their shed was holding up. A few moments later she heard a splash.

She assumed the 71-year-old had fallen in the water. But when she looked outside, she discovered a horrifying site, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Capt. Lance Vitter told The New Orleans Advocate. An alligator had Satterlee in its jaws and wasn’t letting go. It tore off his arm and was trying to pull him below the surface of the water.

His wife rushed to get help, but it was too late. Police haven’t found his body. Officials recently released his name.

Friends couldn’t believe it. Satterlee often volunteered his time and money to help out at his grandchildren’s school. Had he lived, Satterlee would have likely been working with the St. Margaret Mary disaster response team, cooking meals for people without food or power.

“It’s such a devastating loss for our community,” Robert Bywater, a fellow disaster team member, told the paper. “People either knew him by name or by face.”

The team of volunteers dedicated their efforts for the rest of the year to Satterlee’s memory.

Satterlee was the second person to die in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Sadly, dozens more have died as the storm cut a path of destruction through the South and Northeast.