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MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — Bruce Savage's day started out like any other on August 11. He took his dog on a walk around the pond at the end of Barbarian Way, which has been known to have some alligators in it. “It’s a very safe neighborhood. We’ve known about the alligators,” Savage said. “It’s kind of a thing in the neighborhood; Can you spot the alligators?” But when he took a turn in the back end of the path around the pond, that’s when his day took a turn for the...
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — Bruce Savage's day started out like any other on August 11.
He took his dog on a walk around the pond at the end of Barbarian Way, which has been known to have some alligators in it.
“It’s a very safe neighborhood. We’ve known about the alligators,” Savage said. “It’s kind of a thing in the neighborhood; Can you spot the alligators?”
But when he took a turn in the back end of the path around the pond, that’s when his day took a turn for the worse.
“All of a sudden I heard a whoosh and then I saw Hannah’s (his dog) back end in the mouth of a gator.”
Grabbing the tail of his terrier Hannah, Savage held onto the leash, pulling her out.
“The whole thing was probably less than 60 seconds. The whole event,” Savage said. “I can’t hear anything, literally my whole system shut down. My ears shut down, I couldn’t hear anything. Except for myself screaming dogs names. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Hannah's tail was bitten off and she sustained other injuries to her back side, but Bruce did not receive any injuries from the gator.
“My kids were like, 'Well, did you look back,’ and I was like, 'Heck no,' I didn’t look back. I was running as fast as it could.”
Bruce and his family called animal control, but the gator was still not located.
The company Gator Getter Consultants searched the lake for hours residents told ABC, but didn’t find anything.
With the gator still being out there, Savage is even more worried for the future.
“I’m worried about kids. I mean a dog, I love Hanna. But it’s kids being around the water in their prime hunting time.”
Since 2016 there have been three gator fatalities recorded in South Carolina to which there were none reported before then. All of those cases happened in the Lowcountry.
The Department of National Resource’s Regional Public Information coordinator David Lucas said that he has noticed the increase in injury reports. He says there is a simple reason behind it.
“I think it basically boils down to that our population is increasing and development within alligator habitat in the coastal part of South Carolina are increasing,” Lucas said.
But Lucas also said that although summer is a hot time and a point where most people think gators would come out, it usually doesn’t happen this late into the summer.
“We get a lot more calls in the early spring and summer because alligators are more active in that period.”
Despite the unusualness of the situation, Savage says that he doesn’t have any plans to go back walking by the pond anytime soon.
“I just don’t think it’s smart to walk along there, and I don’t think Hannah will ever go there again.”
DNR also said that if anyone is near a wetland to stay 10 feet apart for their safety.
“If you are looking at fresh water in the Lowcountry, if you are looking at a pond or a wetland, a fresh water area, you are looking at alligator habitats,” Lucas said. “The operative thing to remember here is that you are talking about wild animals. And they are unpredictable.”