On July 9, 2023, a SIPOA resident doing yard work on his property adjacent to the golf course was attacked by an alligator living in a lagoon nearby. While the Property Owner was walking 6-8 feet from the lagoon edge, the alligator quickly emerged from the lagoon, knocked the Owner to the ground, and clenched the Owner’s leg in his jaws. Fortunately, the alligator relaxed its grip, and the Owner was able to escape to safety. The alligator returned to the lagoon.
The Owner contacted 911. SIPOA officers and EMS responded. The Owner was transported by EMS and his injuries were treated at MUSC. During that time the Charleston County Sheriff, SCDNR, an alligator trapper and SIPOA officers were on site. The alligator was captured and transported.
This was a terrifying and rare alligator encounter with a surprisingly fortunate outcome thanks to the Owner’s quick thinking. As we know, not everyone in similar situations is this lucky.
SIPOA publishes alligator safety reminders on a regular basis from early spring through fall. We would like to take this opportunity to again remind our Owners and their guests to be aware of alligators, and actions to take should they encounter one.
Alligators less than four feet long are incapable of eating anything larger than a small turtle and are too small to pose a threat to even small pets or people. Alligators at least four feet in length that are aggressive and pose a threat to people, pets or property are considered “nuisance alligators”. FOR YOUR SAFETY:
- Keep your distance. Alligators can run faster than you.
- Do not attempt to move alligators out of the road.
- Stay away from alligator nests or small alligators. Female alligators are very protective of their territory.
- Keep your pets and children away from alligators.
- Do not corner or trap alligators.
- Be alert around the shore of freshwater ponds or wetlands.
- Don’t feed alligators. Not only is it illegal, but feeding alligators threatens peoples’ and animals’ safety. Providing food for these wild animals makes them bolder, encourages them to seek out people, and alters their natural diet in an unhealthy way. If you enjoy seeing alligators, please understand that feeding them endangers them. When alligators lose their fear of humans, they become aggressive and must be removed. Remember- a fed alligator is a dead alligator. If you see someone feeding alligators, contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-922-5431.
If you have a concern about an aggressive or nuisance alligator on SIPOA properties or roadways or at your residence, call the Gatehouse at (843) 768-6641. SIPOA will contact our on-call professional alligator trapper licensed by SCDNR to evaluate the alligator which then may be removed and euthanized. If you are on the golf course contact the golf shop or Sean Hardwick at the Seabrook Island Club for assistance.
In any location, if you are attacked by an alligator or you observe an attack, call 911 for emergency response. Don’t waste valuable response time by calling the Gatehouse – 911 should be your first call for any emergency. When 911 is called, the Gatehouse is automatically notified by Charleston County and can respond as needed.
Again, we are fortunate that this didn’t become a tragic event. We are very thankful that our resident escaped and injuries were minor. Please keep these safety precautions in mind when outdoors.
Be Aware, Be Alert and Stay Safe!
-Seabrook Island Property Owners Association