A 100lb pit bull called Tank has died after being eaten by an alligator while out on a walk in a park in Florida.
Tank’s devastated owner, Cynthia Robinson, allowed her beloved six-year-old off the lead on the morning of Thursday August 8, sitting herself down on a nearby bench.
Suddenly their tranquil walk turned into a nightmare when a huge alligator leapt from a retention pond, devouring poor Tank and leaving Cynthia traumatised.
Cynthia, of Auburndale, Florida, told Florida News Channel 8 how she had been helpless to stop the enormous alligator from eating her dog:
My dog didn’t even know what happened, He had that look like, yelping. He was like, ‘Help me, Mama,’ but I couldn’t do nothing.
Horrifyingly, the alligator even rose from the waters a second time with Tank in its jaws. Cynthia has desperately wanted to help her dog, but the size of the alligator made any attempt impossible.
— Michael Paluska (@MichaelPaluska) August 9, 2019
Cynthia’s friend and next door neighbour Karen Reynolds witnessed the terrifying incident, and had spoken out about how Cynthia bravely attempted to leap into the pond after Tank.
Karen told ABC Action News:
When she reached down to pick up his leash the gator came up from under the grass grabbed tank by the snout drug him in the water.
She got in, and the gator had took Tank out further. She said he rolled Tank, Tank came back up and looked at her made a sound like a yelp, and that gator took off under the ground with him.
I told her, I said ‘that dog saved your life’ cause it could’ve been her, cause no one was there but her and her dog.
I’m devastated. I loved that dog. She is devastated; she is heartbroken that was her only baby. All I could do is grab her and hug her and cry.
This is Tank..the 6 year old pit bull snatched by a gator this morning in Polk Co. pic.twitter.com/uFkmTHRDkF
— Josh Cascio Fox13 (@joshcascio) August 8, 2019
As reported by ABC Action News, two Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trappers returned to the pond shortly after sunset and removed an 11′ 3″ alligator believed to be the one which ate Tank. The alligator will reportedly now be euthanised, and its meat and skin harvested.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trappers are now working alongside the Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division to investigate the incident.
The Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division have stated:
We are saddened to hear about the loss of a beloved family pet.
Despite several attacks having already occurred this year, the agency have stated alligator attacks are a rare occurrence.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.