Woman missing, her dogs found after reported alligator attack in Florida


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Updated Jun 8, 2018 12:33 PM EDT

DAVIE, Fla. — Authorities searched a Florida pond Friday after a witness told police an alligator attacked a woman walking her dogs and dragged her into the water. The caller reported seeing the alligator drag her into the pond in Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park at about 9:45 a.m. Friday.

In a Sun Sentinel report , Davie Police Maj. Dale Engle said divers were searching the water.

“Her dogs won’t leave the pond,” Engle said. “One of her dogs got bit by the gator.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Rob Klepper said the report of the attack was still unconfirmed, but law enforcement officers with the agency were heading to the scene.

The pond is in a park near the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, a major Miami-area tourist and entertainment attraction.

Authorities closed the park Friday. CBS Miami reports the park is very popular. People go there to walk, walk their dogs and picnic. There are two lakes at the park and the reported attack happened in what is referred to as the North Lake.

Edwin Gomez is at the park nearly every day.

“I saw the gator yesterday, it responds in a natural way. It’s sad to hear someone got hit by the gator,” he said.

The park is surrounded by homes. Neighbors say they often see people walking their dogs around the lakes and have even seen kids go swimming in them.

Alligators and humans have crossed paths more and more in Florida, as people increasingly seek waterfront homes and recreation – but fatal attacks remain rare.

According to the wildlife commission, the likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly only one in 3.2 million.

From 1948 to 2017, the commission has documented 401 people bitten by alligators, including 24 fatalities. The most recent death occurred in 2016, when a 2-year-old boy playing near the water’s edge at a Walt Disney World resort was killed.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.



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