A North Carolina woman is mourning the death of her pet after a nightly walk went horribly wrong. According to WNCT, the Jacksonville woman brought her dog close to Brooks Gruber Bridge, which was rumored to contain alligators. The dog was not on a leash and wandered near the water’s edge, where it was quickly snatched and devoured by a large alligator. Experts say the gator may have mistaken the dog for a large duck.
“I’m not surprised because I live in apartments just across the road and my landlord says there are gators in the water, and I always see kids and their parents by the water,” said Jacksonville resident Jennifer Simmons.
Shortly afterwards Jacksonville police started a hunt for the alligator, which was deemed a public nuisance. Because of the animal’s large size, officials decided not to attempt a relocation. It was found and killed with three shots from a hunting rifle.
“Nobody gains any pleasure from having to do this, but again you have to think in public safety” said Jacksonville Deputy Chief Patrick Traitor.
The body of the behemoth alligator is being preserved and eventually will take center stage at the Onslow County Environmental Education Center, where it will be placed for exhibit.
“If we see these animals and can learn from them, then that makes it all that more important to care for them,” said county spokesperson Lisa Whitman-Grice.
Remains of the dog were found within the alligator. City officials are now cautioning residents to avoid feeding ducks, which are likely prey for the large reptiles.
WNCT’s coverage of the incident can be seen below: