The dogs were not badly harmed. | 6381380/Getty Images
A 12-foot, 6-inch alligator tragically killed a Davie, Florida woman, sending shockwaves throughout the community.
Shizuka Matsuki was last seen walking her dogs by a lake in Davie, according to The Miami Herald. Matsuki went missing while her dogs remained by the lake. Eventually, trappers captured the reptile and this is what we know about the gator and the attack. The information on page 5 is unbelievable.
1. The gator was larger than average
Most female alligators typically don’t grow any longer than 10 feet, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Males can grow larger and the state record is a 14 foot 3-1/2 inch male. The alligator that killed Matsuki was over 12 feet making the reptile larger than most. Apparently, no one witnessed the attack, The Sun-Sentinel reports.
2. The 911 caller identified the gator like this
Someone did call 911 to report the attack, according to the Local 10 News in Miami. An unidentified man called 911 and told the dispatcher, “I think an alligator got this lady.” The caller went on to describe the scene and animal. “One dog is still hanging out in the water, and I seen a huge alligator.”
3. This was how officials identified Matsuki
Once Matsuki went missing, trappers arrived on the scene, The Miami Herald reports. Officials found body parts inside the gator. “After an initial necropsy, evidence was found that indicates that the victim of this incident was bitten by the alligator that was captured earlier today,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Robert Klepper said in an email. “The FWC believes that the victim is deceased and we will continue recovery efforts on the lake with local authorities.”
4. The woman’s dogs survived the attack
Miraculously, the gator did not kill the woman’s dogs, according to The Miami Herald. The woman’s two pit bulls remained by the water after the attack. “Her dogs won’t leave the pond,” Davie Police Maj. Dale Engle told The Sun-Sentinel. “One of her dogs got bit by the gator.”
5. Officials knew about this deadly problem
There had been reports of gator activity. | Tom Reville/Getty Images
Florida wildlife officials knew about a number of gator reports at that lake prior to the attack, according to CBS Miami. In fact, Florida Fish and Wildlife received 11 calls about gator activity since 2005. The most recent call was only a few months ago regarding a seven-foot gator that was threatening people and pets. Not a single gator was removed until the deadly attack. However, eight permits were issued to remove gators at the lake since 2005.
6. The town finally did this
In the wake of the tragedy, the city finally acted. Signage and education is part of the plan. “We are erecting signage at all town parks and open space sites with a water body or adjacent to a canal providing warning regarding natural hazards such as alligators, snakes, and other animals,” said Phillip R. Holste, Davie’s assistant town administrator, The Miami Herald reports.”We will also be implementing a public information campaign with our residents to remind them of these natural hazards.”
7. This is the likelihood an alligator could kill you
Stories like this are shocking and scary. However, the likelihood of being killed by an alligator is still rare, according to USA Today. An unprovoked gator attack is unlikely–only about 1 in 3.2 million. Plus, the wildlife commission only documented 401 gator attacks between 1948 and 2017. Only 24 were fatal.
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