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Man Killed by Alligator in South Carolina Pond; Trapper Reveals Hidden Danger to Watch For

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As an alligator trapper warns about unusual behavior from alligators that many people may not be expecting because they do not know it is mating season, an alligator attack has claimed the life of a South Carolina man.

On Friday, a man was killed by an alligator while he was standing near a retention pond at the Myrtle Beach Golf and Yacht Club, according to the Daily Mail.

Horry County fire department first responders arrived at the club at about 11:45 a.m. on Friday. “Units determined that an alligator had taken hold of a neighbor and retreated into a nearby retention pond,” police spokeswoman Mikayla Moskov said.

Police said they were able to remove the victim from the pod.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources arrived and killed the alligator.

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Neighbor Jason Repak said he has observed massive alligators in the neighborhood of the club, according to MyHorryNews.

“They are 12- to 14-foot alligators,” he said. “They are big.”

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Alligators often travel a road between the pond where the tragedy took place and another nearby pond, he said.

“We’ve never gone anywhere close to them,” he said. “When we walk the dogs near that pond, we walk them in the median. We don’t walk them on that bank because you just don’t know where they’re lurking. You will never know where they’re lurking.”

Repak called the attack a tragedy.

“It’s absolutely horrible,” he said. “As far as I know, most neighbors have always treated the alligators with a healthy respect and almost like part of the community. … This is just a tragedy that nobody would have expected.”

Jim Darlington, a reptile curator at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida, said unusual activity is all part of mating season, which began in April and ends this month, according to WJXT-TV.

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“Males typically will attach themselves to a territory or like their favorite little nook or lagoon,” Darlington said. “The females are usually in search of males, and they visit these areas.”

“Alligators have a pretty good compass. If they are driven out of an area or blocked off on a normal route, they want to go from this direction and end up a half-mile over there. All of a sudden there are houses with fences. They are going to start pulling along the fences and bumping along the whole front of people’s property just trying to get from Point A to Point B.”

Darlington’s first rule to avoid a tragedy is never to feed alligators.

“That’s what gets them used to people,” he said. “That’s what gets them to like being around. That is also what makes them hang out at the water’s edge closer to people more than you would normally find.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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