Woman killed by alligator while protecting dog in South Carolina

21 August 2018, 01:35 | Updated: 21 August 2018, 08:45

A woman in South Carolina has been killed by an alligator after she tried to protect her dog from being eaten.

Cassandra Cline, 45, was walking her border collie near a golf course lagoon when she was dragged into the water.

"Apparently the dog got too close to the lagoon and the alligator attempted to attack the dog," said coroner Edward Allen.

"In an effort to save her dog, the alligator turned on her."

A trail of dog treats was found, along with one of the woman's shoes and her hat.

Thomas DiMaio, who rents a house nearby, said he heard shrieks while he was in the shower but thought they were from a bird.

He went outside a half hour later to find a crowd of people.

"It's really sad," said Mr DiMaio.

"She didn't have any children. The dog was her child, I guess."

The incident happened on South Carolina's Hilton Head Island.

The 8ft alligator was later found and killed, said David Lucas from the Department of Natural Resources.

"She was walking the dog near the lagoon and the alligator came out of the water and tried to get the dog," said Mr Lucas.

"The lady tried to rescue the dog and a maintenance worker ran over to help."

Both were trying to save the dog, but the alligator dragged the woman into the water.

The dog was unharmed.