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Dog dragged into water, killed by gator at Florida park

The man was playing with his unleashed dog at a popular park when a gator pulled the dog into the water.
A man was playing with his dog at a Florida park when it was attacked by an alligator, dragged into the water. This is a photo of a gator taken earlier this year in Palm Harbor.
A man was playing with his dog at a Florida park when it was attacked by an alligator, dragged into the water. This is a photo of a gator taken earlier this year in Palm Harbor. [ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]
Published Jun. 17

TALLAHASSEE — A man was playing with his dog at a Florida park when it was attacked by an alligator, dragged into the water and killed earlier this month, wildlife officials said.

Joshua Wells told wildlife authorities that he was playing with his unleashed dog near water at a popular park in Tallahassee on June 6 when the alligator snatched his dog, according to a report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Wells, 44, said he grabbed the alligator, cuffing its legs, but realized that was dangerous, according to the report.

“He said he quickly realized that was not a good idea and let the alligator go,” the report said.

Wildlife officials later trapped two alligators in the area — one that was 9-feet, 2-inches long and another that was 6-feet, 6-inches long. A trapper found the dog’s body floating below the surface of the water in the same area where the larger alligator was caught.

A wildlife officer returned the dog’s remains to Wells, the report said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida. The wildlife agency recommends keeping pets on leashes near water because they often resemble alligators’ natural prey.

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