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Man wrestles dog away from alligator attack in SC neighborhood

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 3:36 AM CDT
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MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - A South Carolina man saved his dog when she was attacked by an alligator on a walk around their neighborhood pond.

For Bruce Savage, Wednesday morning started out like any other morning: a walk with his dog, Hanna, around the pond in his Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, neighborhood. The pond has been known to have some alligators in it.

“Very safe neighborhood. We’ve known about the alligators. It’s kind of a thing in the neighborhood to try and spot the alligators,” Savage said.

During the walk, Savage suddenly couldn’t find Hanna. An alligator had attacked the terrier from behind.

“Literally, my whole system shut down,” Savage said. “My ears shut down. I couldn’t hear anything, except for myself screaming my dog’s name. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Savage managed to rescue Hanna, pulling her out of the gator’s mouth. Her tail was bitten off, and she sustained other injuries to her back side. Savage did not receive any injuries from the alligator but got cut up by the gravel while wrangling his dog away from the creature.

“My kids asked me, ‘Well, did you look back?’ I was like, ‘Heck no, I didn’t look back!’ I was running as fast as I could to get away,” he said.

Bruce Savage rescued his dog, Hanna, from an alligator attack. Her tail was bitten off, and she...
Bruce Savage rescued his dog, Hanna, from an alligator attack. Her tail was bitten off, and she sustained other injuries to her back side.(Source: WCIV via CNN)

The family called animal control, but the gator that attacked Savage and his dog was not located. Savage says he’s worried for what that could mean in the future, especially for his kids. He plans to stay clear of the pond.

“I just don’t think it’s smart to walk along there, and I don’t think Hanna will ever go near the water again,” Savage said. “You have to have a healthy respect for wildlife. Some wildlife is more dangerous than others.”

Since 2016, there have been three fatal alligator incidents recorded in South Carolina, all in the Lowcountry. The Department of Natural Resources says there has also been an increase in injury reports.

“I think it basically boils down to that our population is increasing, and development within alligator habitat in the coastal plain of South Carolina is increasing,” said David Lucas with DNR.

Lucas says attacks usually don’t happen this time of year. More calls come in the early spring and summer when alligators are more active.

The DNR says that anyone near a wetland should keep about 10 feet from the water for safety.

Copyright 2021 WCIV via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.