DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) -- A week after Daphne Police urged people to be on the lookout for alligators near the bay, a dog was attacked and killed near May Day Park.
When the weather permits, you'll find Daphne resident Bruce Russell walking his dog Bodhi at May Day Park. It's not far from here where a friend of his was walking their dog and encountered a gator.
"This thing seemed to have come out of almost nowhere, wasn't in the water, It was on the beach, which is a little unusual. Usually, they come up out of the water and you don't see them because their little eyes are sticking up or maybe a bit of a nose and that's all," explained Russell.
The dog, a Labrador retriever, was no match for the large gator. According to Russell, the dog's owner saw it all unfold.
"It happened very quickly. The dog was on leash and I think when the alligator appeared. It sat down and pulled itself out of collar. And the idea is in its mind, perhaps, we are surmising, but I think the dog was trying to protect the owner and ran at the gator," said Russell.
Russell found the dog's body washed ashore Friday afternoon and called the dog's owner who has made plans to retrieve it.
Meanwhile, there have been multiple reported gator sightings up and down the coast in the bay area. Daphne Police updating their original Facebook post Friday morning telling people to not only beware but to exercise caution and reminding them it's illegal to feed gators, which they say only contributes to the problem.
Wildlife experts telling FOX 10 News last week removing gators isn't always easy.
"It's harder to relocate larger alligators for obvious reasons but also because they're a homing animal," said Michael Niemeyer, Wildlife Solutions.
That means they'll usually come back to their original location, leaving it up to dog owners to be vigilant, especially near the water's edge.
"It wasn't their fault. I mean that is the extraordinary thing. But a lot of people do let their dogs roam off leash and that wasn't the case here. It's heartbreaking," said Russell.
For now, Russell and others remain on heightened alert, doing what they can to protect their pets.
The following is the social media post from Daphne Police:
We are sharing this post from the city's page. A dog was taken by an alligator on the bay this morning. Alligators are predators indigenous to the southern United States. You should expect them to be in any body of water in our area and exercise caution.
As a reminder, it is unlawful to feed alligators, and doing so contributes to these types of incidents. If you see someone feeding an alligator, report the incident to the Alabama Game & Fish, at
1-800-272-GAME. For additional information visit: