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10-foot alligator kills an 85-year-old Florida woman who was on a walk with her dog

Gloria Serge's dog survived the attack Monday in Fort Pierce, a state fish and wildlife spokesperson said.
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An 85-year-old woman was killed in an alligator attack Monday as she was walking her dog in Florida, authorities said.

The incident occurred just after noon, when Gloria Serge was walking her small dog near the community retention pond at Spanish Lakes Fairways, a 55-plus community in Fort Pierce, a city about 67 miles north of West Palm Beach, according to the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The 10-foot alligator emerged from the water and knocked Serge over before it pulled her into the water by her foot, the agency's report said.

Residents told NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach that the woman was trying to fight off the alligator after it grabbed the dog.

Witnesses called 911, a commission spokesperson said.

Authorities recovered Serge, and a "contracted nuisance alligator trapper" captured and euthanized the large reptile, the official said.

The alligator weighed 600 to 700 pounds, WPTV reported.

Robert Lilly, the alligator trapper, told the station about trapping the alligator: “It was definitely a fight. [We] snagged him on the bottom. He never surfaced. He stayed down the whole time. We were able to get a second hook in him and a hard line in him so we could get him up.”

The dog survived, the commission spokesperson said, without disclosing its condition.

Officials at Spanish Lakes Fairways declined to comment Tuesday.

There are about 1.3 million alligators in Florida, but alligator attacks resulting in serious injuries are rare, according to the commission.

The agency urges people with concerns about alligators to call 866-392-4286, its Nuisance Alligator Hotline, which dispatches alligator trappers "to resolve the situation." An alligator is deemed a nuisance if it is more than 4 feet long and believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property.

The commission says that people should not feed alligators and that they should keep their distance, adding that people should keep their pets on leashes and at distances from bodies of water. Alligators prefer freshwater lakes and slow-moving rivers, according to the agency.