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Gator attack victim may have been trying to protect her dogs

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 22:42:28-04

Officials say 47-year-old Shizuka Matsuki was killed by an alligator that dragged her into a pond in Broward County Friday.

Naples resident Jeff Quattrochi, who puts on gator shows throughout the country says attacks on humans are rare.  He says the animal likely attacked Matsuki because she was walking her dogs near the lake.

"I believe this alligator was out in the lake, he either visually or heard these dogs, judged the distance, and swam stealth like to the bank."

Quattrocchi believes the victim was trying to defend her dogs, one of which was injured in the attack, but ended up getting pulled into the water.

"There's a complete weight difference here, this is a huge alligator, maybe 600 or 800 pounds, so an alligator will go in reverse, no challenge in the weight there, the lady would go right in the water," says Quattrocchi.

Quattrocchi says you have to keep a tight leash on your dogs if you walk them near a lake or pond.  He says even if there are no signs warning you, don't assume there aren't gators lurking in your local lakes.

"Living in Florida you have to be aware, that there are monsters here in Florida, and alligators are monsters."

Quattrocchi says even larger dogs, 60 to 70 pounds or more can be killed by gators.