Florida Woman, 74, Frees Dog from Alligator Attack by Dropping Her Body on Top of Predator

by Michael Freeman

While alligator attacks in Florida are more common there than anywhere else in the United States, what happened to a woman there isn’t. After an alligator snatched her dog, the 74-year-old woman threw herself on top of the predator to help.

Suzan Marciano was walking her dog Nalu along a lake at Burt Aaronson Park last month around 6:30 p.m. After pausing to take Nalu off her leash, the dog ran into the water until she was chest-deep. Marciano stood on the edge of the lake playing fetch with a stick when she noticed a shadow in the water. Noting her “heart dropped,” to The Palm Beach Post, Marciano realized too late it was an alligator and before long, it grabbed Nalu in its jaws.

What Marcion did next surprised even her: she jumped on top of it.

“I wasn’t thinking,” Marciano said. She continues “I did the only thing I could do. I came down on the alligator with all my weight.”

The alligator released Nalu, but then turned on Marciano, biting her hand. “Providence must have been with me,” she said. “It was all one big blur. I was in such shock. I didn’t feel any pain.”

Marciano told The Palm Beach Post she almost didn’t go to the hospital but eventually did at her friend’s suggestion. She also took Nalu to an animal emergency clinic. Marciano’s companion had puncture wounds in her stomach and thigh, requiring a two-hour surgery and stitches afterward.

“I had this feeling that she was going to survive,” Marciano said. “If she survived that, she can survive the surgery.”

Though Nalu was a bit shy about going back to the park, she felt comfortable again after a few weeks passed and she fully recovered.

New York Officials Catch an Alligator at a Poughkeepsie Junior High School

Alligator sightings and attacks in Florida are one thing, but it’s another when they pop up in places like New York. In this case, an alligator wandered onto a junior high school campus before being caught.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports last Tuesday, officials caught a five-foot-long alligator at Van Wyck Junior High School. A nearby resident looking out her window early that morning noticed the alligator moving into the school parking lot and called the police. The police then contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation to assist with capturing the animal.

15-year DEC veteran Cuccia said in his entire tenure this was the first time he’d encountered an alligator. “The first reaction is to make sure everything is basically all right, because … she was kind of in shock, and so were our officers because that’s not a normal activity here in East Fishkill, to come across an alligator.”

After a conservation officer with the state arrived, he helped police wrangle it. Placing a towel over its eyes and taping its mouth shut, the DEC relocated it to a rehabilitation specialist for evaluation.