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Medical examiner: Alligators killed elderly woman at Florida country club

FWC says two alligators were humanely killed, and officials don't plan to remove any other gators from the area.

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. — A Sarasota County medical examiner confirmed an 80-year-old woman found dead at a country club in Englewood was killed by alligators, authorities said.

It happened at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club. The sheriff's office said an elderly woman, identified as 80-year-old Rose Wiegand, was seen falling into a pond along the golf course near her home. 

Authorities said according to the person who called 911, Wiegand was pulling weeds from the water side of a retaining wall. 

The caller told authorites they heard a scream and saw Wiegand fall into the water and while the woman was struggling to stay afloat, the caller said they then went into the water and swam to her location, but was unable to find Wiegand as two nearby alligators had pulled her beneath the water.

Wiegand was pronounced dead at the scene. The sheriff's office says over the weekend, a medical examiner was able to rule the cause of death to be an alligator attack.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the area to capture the alligators from the pond for further investigation.

Two gators were found nearby, one being 8 feet, 10 inches long and the other being 7 feet, 7 inches long. A contracted nuisance alligator trapper was called out to the location to remove the animals.

FWC says both alligators were humanely killed, and they don't plan to remove any other gators from the area.

"Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the deceased during this difficult time," FWC leaders said in an email to 10 Tampa Bay.

Wildlife experts are using the tragedy to remind people about how to safely deal with alligators if they are nearby.

"If you're going to interact in any type of water system in Florida, if you don't see any alligators, be very wary. Just because you don't see him doesn't mean he doesn't see you," Flavio Morrissiey with Sarasota Jungle Gardens said.

Morrissiey said people need to educate themselves and to be extremely careful around ponds.

"They're really sneaky and they're all around the edges," he said. "Most of the time they're not necessarily in the middle of the lake, they are going to be near the edges and that's where they can do damage. So be cautious around the edge of a lake."

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