The last thing a family expects to happen is their beloved pet dog to become a gator’s meal during an outing. Sadly, a large Florida alligator ate Cody, a tiny dachshund.
Over the weekend, Mike Karris, who works at a consulting firm, his fiancé, Rae Wilkerson, and their 11-year-old dachshund, visited St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Tallahassee. They, as many other visitors, were on hand to enjoy the start of the scallop season.
As the couple readied their boat at a ramp, they unleashed Cody and allowed him to roam freely for a few minutes. Without warning, a large alligator exited the water, snatched the hapless dachshund, and retreated into the marsh.
— Dion Lim (@DionLimWTSP) July 3, 2015
On instinct, and despite the dangers, Cody’s owner’s jumped into the swamp and tried to pursue the gator. However, as Karris explains, there was nothing they could do; the snatch and grab took place very fast, according to a Daily Mail report.
“I couldn’t catch up to the gator. It was so fast. The whole thing, start to finish, didn’t last 5 seconds and the dog wasn’t on the ground for more than a minute.”
In an instant, their beloved pet dog was gone, snatched by an aggressive gator that obviously didn’t have any apprehension about approaching humans. According to experts, alligators typically avoid contact with man, especially on land. Dogs and other small mammals are potential prey. Karris and his future wife accepted part of the blame for not having Cody on a leash at the time the alligator attacked the dachshund.
On the other side of their argument, they blame officials for not culling or removing the aggressive gator beforehand. In response, an administrator posted a statement that indirectly countered the dog’s owners.
“Remember we are a wildlife refuge and not a park. Our mission is to provide a protected home for all wildlife.We ask that you respect all wildlife and plants, give them the space they need, and never, ever feed them either directly or by leaving food items behind.
“Dogs MUST be leashed and under the owner’s control at will times when out of your vehicle.”
This story parallels another reported incident, again in Florida, where a family lost their dog to a suspected alligator. In January, owners of a mixed-breed mourned the loss of their companion rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico. Apparently, the dog went outside their Sunrise home one night and never returned, as the Inquisitr wrote in an earlier report.
“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.”
On the alligator that ate Cody the dachshund, St. Marks manager Terry Peacock said there was never any cause for alarm in the past; the gator wasn’t considered aggressive. Moreover, the last known attack on a dog took place nearly two decades ago.
“I can’t punish an alligator for being an alligator. That’s just an alligator being its normal self.”
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]