A family in Florida is mourning the loss of their beloved dog at the hands of a gator, which ate it when the pooch went out in the dark, never to return.
Even though nobody saw the gator nabbing the dog, neighbors heard a really loud yelp and some say they spotted the eight-foot gator holding Jessie in its jaws. The Sunrise, Florida, family adopted Jessie, a 50-pound mixed-breed dog, when it was only a few months old.
The animal had been a stray in Puerto Rico, but took to its new home with ease, and became a member of the family to the extent that is was included in their Christmas cards. The giant gator has been lurking around the neighborhood for a few months, and residents were on alert.
When Jessie stepped outside at night, several people report hearing a loud yelp, including members of the Byers family, who felt helpless. Zack Byers said there was nothing he could do when the gator ate his dog.
“The dog yelped really loud — loud enough for the neighbors across the lake to hear. The gator had my dog in its mouth, and I didn’t know what to do. She was in the middle of the lake, and we couldn’t get to her.”
According to neighbors, the gator who ate the dog has been a nuisance for a long time now, but it has not been captured. Some believe the animal is responsible for the disappearance of a resident’s boxer, and someone reported seeing it eating a duck.
A spokeswoman from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said traps were set on Wednesday in an attempt to capture the gator. Additionally, a staff member of Nuisance Alligator Trapper was called to help in getting the predator out of the lake. He said he had the animal for a moment, but it was able to escape.
Meanwhile, the Byers family mourns the loss of their beloved dog.
“We loved her — loved her, loved her,” Ann Marie Byers, 53, said “She always looked like she was smiling. She was happy and playful. She used to sleep at my feet when I’m at the computer working, and she’s not there. I’m waiting for her to come up and play and she’s not here.”
Mark Byers, 54, said that they just could not train Jessie to stay. He had built a fence between his backyard and the lake to keep gators away from his yard and extended another fence, blocking an opening with a plant. Sadly, they could not prevent their dog from getting eaten by the gator.
Do you think this family did enough to prevent the gator from eating their dog?
[Image via Shutterstock/Sun Sentinel]