A woman in the US has been killed by an alligator after she tried to protect her dog from being eaten.
Cassandra Cline, 45, was walking her dog across the road from her South Carolina holiday home in Hilton Head that she shared with her husband.
She was dragged into the water as she walked by a golf course lagoon with her border collie.
“Apparently the dog got too close to the lagoon and the alligator attempted to attack the dog,” said Edward Allen, Beaufort County Coroner.
“In an effort to save her dog, the alligator turned on her.”
A trail of dog treats was found, along with one of the woman’s shoes and her hat.
Thomas DiMaio, who rents a house across the road from the lagoon, said he heard shrieks while he was in the shower but thought they were from a bird.
He went outside a half hour later to find a crowd of people.
“It’s really sad,” said Mr DiMaio.
“She didn’t have any children. The dog was her child, I guess.”
He said he would see Ms Cline and her dog walking two or three times a day.
The 8ft alligator was later found and killed, spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources David Lucas said.
“She was walking the dog near the lagoon and the alligator came out of the water and tried to get the dog,” said Mr Lucas.
“The lady tried to rescue the dog and a maintenance worker ran over to help.”
Both were trying to save the dog, but the alligator dragged the woman into the water.
The dog was unharmed.