A man’s arm was bitten off by an alligator at a Beaufort golf course Thursday and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says it’s not common. A 77-year-old man was playing golf at the Ocean Creek Golf Course in Beaufort around 3 p.m. Thursday when he was picking up his golf ball near a pond, and a 10-foot alligator pulled him into the pond. SCDNR spokesman Jay Butfilowski says this case is not a usual occurrence.
“Not really in them to pursue people on land. This incident was unfortunate. It was an unusual event, to say the least. You don’t hear about these things very often,” says Butfilowski.
The Fripp Island man, whose name has not been released, lost his lower arm in the attack. Some of the man’s golf partners were able to free the man from the pond. Tracks Wildlife Control workers were able to kill the alligator and rescue the man’s detached arm.
Butfilowski says although attacks are unusual on the state’s golf courses, the sightings of gators are not unusual.
“A lot of times, and the alligators may sun on the banks. Try to avoid them is what most people do in those areas that tend to have alligators. Especially when you are talking about golf courses that a lot of times have a lot of water, and a lot of lagoons, and those types of things,” says Butfilowski.
Despite the highlights of recent gator attacks in the state, Butfilowski says he doesn’t see much of a rise in attacks.
“It compares favorably to last years, and it looks like the harvest is gonna be roughly about the same. Last year it was 362, and it probably is gonna be close to that number,” says Butfilowski.
The public alligator season ends on Saturday at noon.
The bitten man was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina to hopefully get his arm reattached. No word on his condition.