Wednesday, September 1st 2021, 11:35 am - According to the sheriff's office, the wife left the house after hearing a disturbance and told police she saw a large alligator attacking her husband. All search efforts to find him amid the floodwaters had failed.
Floodwaters carry risks to people if they're caught in them, whether it's from possible drowning, hypothermia or exposure to bacteria. But sometimes they can be concealing potentially harmful wildlife, too.
This was the reported case in Louisiana on Monday. According to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO), a 71-year-old man is believed to be dead after an apparent alligator attack while wading through floodwaters resulting from then-Hurricane Ida. The incident was reported to have occurred just outside of his home in Slidell.
The sheriff's office said the wife of the man told officers she was inside her residence at the time of the attack. She went outside after hearing a disturbance, and told police this is when she saw a large alligator attacking her husband.
"She immediately ran to her husband's [aid] in an attempt to stop the attack. Once the attacked stopped, she pulled her husband out of the floodwaters, and returned inside to gather first aid supplies," the sheriff's office said in the news release.
After seeing how severe his injuries were, she fled to higher ground, more than a kilometre away, to get help. Her husband was left on the steps, but when she came back, he was nowhere to be found.
The STPSO incorporated high-water vehicles and flatboats in its search efforts to locate the victim, but they proved unsuccessful, according to the sheriff's office. The incident is under investigation.
Sheriff Randy Smith cautioned residents to be "extra vigilant" while walking in flooded areas because wildlife has been displaced during the storm. As a result, alligators and other animals may have moved closer into neighbourhoods.
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