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Woman killed by alligator after trying to take pictures and touch animal

Cynthia Covert was heard saying 'I guess I won't do this again' before she died

Danielle Zoellner
Thursday 07 May 2020 18:47 BST
(Getty Images)

A woman was killed by an alligator as she attempted to touch the animal after spotting it in a nearby pond, authorities said.

Cynthia Covert, 58, was at her friend’s home on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, painting her nails. According to the police report, the friend said Ms Covert was “very talkative and strange”.

“At the salon Covert acts very professional but today she was very relaxed and excited that her boyfriend was coming from Tennessee to visit,” the friend added, The Post and Courier reported. Ms Covert had one glass of wine during the interaction but the friend did not know if she was on other substances.

After doing the woman’s nails, Ms Covert reportedly spotted the alligator in the pond and was “fascinated” by the animal.

Ms Covert walked over to the pond and started taking pictures of the animal, at which point the friend warned about how she saw a deer getting attacked by the alligator at that same location, deputies said.

“I don’t look like a deer.” Ms Covert responded before she reportedly reached out to touch the animal.

It then attacked and grabbed the woman’s leg, pulling her into the water.

“I guess I won’t do this again,” Ms Covert was heard saying after the alligator grabbed her, according to the police report.

The friend’s husband and a nearby neighbour ran out and attempted to pull Ms Covert back to shore by tossing her a rope. But then the alligator rolled over onto Ms Covert and she disappeared into the water.

Deputies and firefighters arrived on the scene and searched for Ms Covert for 10 to 15 minutes before her body resurfaced. But the alligator was still holding onto the woman’s leg.

A deputy shot at the animal with a 9 mm handgun so it would release the woman’s leg. The alligator was shot several times before it died.

Ms Covert’s leg was severely damaged after her body was brought to shore, but it was determined by the Charleston County Coroner’s office she died by drowning. She is the third person to die in the state from an alligator encounter, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

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