A 75-year-old Callawassie Island woman is recovering in an area hospital after being attacked Friday night by a 10-foot alligator, officials say.

The woman was trimming plants near the edge of the gated community's pond when the gator latched onto her leg and pulled her into the water, S.C. Department of Natural Resources spokesman David Lucas said Sunday.

A man passing by on a golf cart was unaware a gator was involved but saw the woman in obvious distress in the pond.

"He ran to the pond and jumped in," Lucas said. "He got his arms around her and pulled. He felt resistance at first but thought that was her weight."

The man realized something had the woman as the gator pulled them both under water briefly, Lucas said.

"It then let loose and they came back up," Lucas said. "He was able to pull her out of the water."

Lucas said the woman has several fractures to her leg and some "pretty bad" lacerations.

She has already undergone one surgery and more are expected, Lucas said.

"Other than the obvious bite her family says she is doing pretty well," Lucas said.

DNR officials have yet to interview the woman as she is still recovering.

However, the woman told witnesses at the scene that it was "the large gator" that attacked.

"There are three gators that residents are familiar with," Lucas said.

The 10-foot-gator was the largest of the three, Lucas said. He also said the gator was later found near the spot where she was attacked.

The gator was removed and euthanized and will undergo an autopsy.


In another South Carolina alligator attack, A 57-year-old Johns Island woman was killed at Kiawah Island on May 1. The woman attempted to touch the alligator before she was attacked, a Charleston County Sheriff's Office report says.

Beaufort County, where Callawassie Island sits, has historically seen more alligator attacks than any other county in South Carolina, as previously reported by the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.

Last year, a 68-year-old woman was attacked about 13 miles away in the gated community of Sun City.

She also survived after being bit on the wrist and leg by a 9-foot-gator. She encountered the alligator between her home and her neighbors. It likely came from a pond sitting about 25 feet from the woman's home.

In 2018, a 45-year-old Hilton Head Island woman was killed when an alligator pulled her and her dog into a lagoon in Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island.

The woman was walking her dog near the edge of the pond when the alligator attacked, officials previously said.

David Lucas said Sunday that residents and guests should remain cautious when around water in areas that have alligators.

"Avoid the edge of the water,," Lucas said Sunday. "They are wild animals. They are very unpredictable by their nature."

Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and Bluffton Township Fire District also both responded to the alligator attack.