- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - A family on Hilton Head Island says that an alligator in a neighborhood lagoon killed their 85-pound husky.

The Island Packet (http://goo.gl/qQyLYI ) reports that Ron and Beth Ann Julseth believe their dog was drinking from the lagoon and was dragged in by the alligator.

Ron Julseth said the dog’s body was pulled from the lagoon after the attack that apparently happened in the early morning hours of March 16 after the dog accidentally got loose. He said teeth marks made it appear the dog was grabbed by the head and pulled under.

The Julseths said an alligator was nudging their dog’s body in the lagoon when Critter Management went to retrieve the dog’s body.

The newspaper reports that the alligator had not been removed as of Friday.

Critter Management is hired to remove nuisance alligators by using state permits. The company’s Joe Moffo told the newspaper that he was waiting for a state removal tag and expected to get the alligator soon.

The family hopes the loss of the dog, named Kodah, will serve as a cautionary tale to others to be careful about letting animals or children near lagoons.

“I know that gators are gators and we are infringing on their territory,” Ron Julseth said. “But we lost Kodah less than 100 yards from the house. It is very distressing for me. He was part of the family, your best buddy.”

Beth Ann Julseth grew up in Beaufort County, and she knows to be wary of alligators. But she believes that an alligator grabbing a dog at water’s edge is unusually aggressive.

Her husband said the dog wouldn’t have gone swimming in the lagoon.

“Kodah would not go in the water,” Ron Julseth said. “He was not a water dog. He must have gone to get a drink of water.”

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