Tragic news struck the town of Englewood, Florida as an elderly woman died as a result of a potential alligator attack. According to the report, the woman was walking on a golf course near her home when she fell into the pond below. That’s just about the only certainty that investigators know at the moment, though. Since the unfortunate incident, there have been some conflicting details about the true cause of the woman’s death.
The accident occurred at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club in Englewood, roughly 30 miles from Sarasota. Like many waterfront destinations in the Sunshine State, alligators are frequent residents, though they rarely bother golfers past the occasional travels across the green. Then wildlife officials may need to usher the scaly swimmer back to the waters and away from the players. This time, though, the story had a much more disastrous ending.
According to the Sarasota sheriff’s department, bystanders saw the unnamed woman fall into the water. Witnesses reported that she struggled to stay afloat and possibly fell victim to the reptiles in the pond.
“While in the water, two alligators were observed near the victim and ultimately grabbed her while in the water,” a news release said.
It was a gruesome scene, to say the least.
It’s Possible the Alligators Weren’t a Part of the Incident at All
Despite what bystanders saw, the coroner has yet to release an official cause of death. Since the incident, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured and removed the two alligators from the area. Officials found that one gator was 8 feet 10 inches, and the other was 7 feet 7 inches. The sheriff’s department and FWC are now collaborating to conduct an investigation into the woman’s death.
FWC spokesperson Melody Kilborn even stated that it’s still “unclear” whether the alligators were responsible for her death. After looking further into the statements from witnesses, she found that bystanders only saw the gators near the woman’s body.
Doug Foote, the general manager of Boca Royale Golf and Country Club, has yet to comment on the incident. However, he did point out that there is signage on the golf course that alerts patrons of nearby alligators. Whether these warnings were on the housing side of the pond, though, is still unclear.
Locals Say Community Has Too Many Gators
The Boca Royale Golf and Country Club is a part of a gated community in South Sarasota County. With 1,000 acres to its name, it has plenty of greenery between its housing, lakes, golf course and preserves. Naturally, the humid weather, tall grasses and water sources add up to an oasis for alligators.
Just because the conditions are right for these creatures, though, doesn’t mean they’re always welcome. In fact, one Boca Royale resident said there are “too many gators” in the area.
The country club has roughly 1,000 homes on its property, and several are on the water. Brett Norton, the property’s manager, has yet to comment on the matter.