Alligator reportedly drags woman into Florida pond; search underway

Police are searching for a woman who, according to a witness, was dragged by an alligator into a Florida pond Friday while walking her dogs.

Police responded to Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park in Davie, Fla., to search for the woman, who has not yet been identified.

An animal trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was also sent to the park, which has since been closed.

“Her dogs won’t leave the pond. One of her dogs got bit by the gator," Davie Police Maj. Dale Engle told The Sun Sentinel.

Police Detective Viviana Gallinal told the Sentinel a roughly 12-foot gator had been spotted in the pond, though officials couldn't confirm that was the creature that attacked the woman.

Authorities are currently working to capture the gator. However, officials say it remains unclear at this time what exactly the witness saw.

News media earlier reported a caller told police he saw a gator drag a woman into the water as she was walking her dogs. Det. Gallinal said the witness told authorities he saw the woman walking two dogs and then noticed the dogs barking near the water. The witness did not see the woman again.

“At this time, we haven’t had any reports of anybody missing other than [a] witness who saw her earlier and then never saw her again," Det. Gallinal added.

Engle told Fox News Friday afternoon that the Florida FWC was taking over the case.

"We, along with partner agencies, are responding to an incident in Davie. We have unconfirmed reports but do not have confirmed details at this time," Katie Purcell, assistant director of communications for Florida FWC, told Fox News.

Alligators and humans have been crossing paths more and more in Florida, as people increasingly seek waterfront homes and recreation — but fatal attacks remain rare.

According to the wildlife commission, the likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident is roughly only one in 3.2 million.

From 1948 to 2017, the commission has documented 401 people bitten by alligators, including 24 fatalities. The most recent death occurred in 2016, when a 2-year-old boy playing near the water's edge at a Walt Disney World resort was killed.

Alligators become more active as the temperature rises, Tammy Sapp, spokeswoman for the Florida FWC's Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP), warned back in March.

"[They] become more visible and active during spring," Snapp told Fox News. "Their metabolism increases, and they begin seeking prey items."

Snapp advised keeping a safe distance from gators.

Anyone who believes an alligator is posing a "threat to people, pets or property" should call FWC’s toll-free hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR, Snapp said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.