Naval Station Mayport officials confirmed Monday that a pet dog had been killed by a gator after running loose without its owner’s knowledge.
The 13-pound dog was snatched into Lake Wonderwood near the US Military base in Jacksonville where its family lived.
“The owner’s dog got out of the house without them knowing, and she went to try and find the dog, and, unfortunately, it ran down to the water,” Natural Resources Manager at the station Heather Hahn said.
“So, it’s basically in the water, next to the water, at the same time that there is a gator nearby. In this situation, there’s nothing that the owner could’ve done.”
Hahn added: “But it’s good to be aware that there are gators here, and we make sure that we tell everyone about them.”
The involved reptile, a 10 feet 10 inches male gator, was removed from the lake by a trapper according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
Following the incident, Naval Station Mayport released an image of the alligator and issued a warning.
“A reminder to keep yourselves and pets away from our native gators, and a good time to remind everyone that leashes are always required on dogs – in housing, on the beach, and especially near bodies of water. Our condolences to the family who lost their dog.”