South Carolina police have just confirmed that a woman was killed in an alligator attack.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the woman dies on Friday after an encounter with an alligator.

About 5p today, deputies responded to pond near Salt Cedar Lane, Kiawah Island, for report of alligator encounter w/ a woman. The woman has died. A deputy fatally shot and retrieved the gator. @SCDNR & coroner also responded. Incident is still under investigation. #chsnews,” the sheriff’s office tweeted. 

Capt. Roger Antonio told the Post And Courier, “A deputy on scene dispatched and retrieved the alligator.”

Police added that alligator deaths in South Carolina are extremely rare. The Department of Natural Resources released a statement saying that the July 2016 death of a 90-year-old woman in a pond outside a West Ashley extended care facility was the first alligator-related fatality in the state.

The second alligator attack in South Carolina came in August of 2018, when a 45-year-old woman was killed at a resort community on Hilton Head Island. These were the only two recorded fatal attacks in the state’s history before Friday’s incident. In total, 20 recorded alligator attacks have taken place in South Carolina since 1976.

CNN reported that the woman has been identified as Cynthia Covert of Johns Island. Her age has not been made available at this time. Kiawah Island Mayor Craig Weaver spoke out to describe Covert’s death as “a terrible tragedy.”

“We live closely with nature on this island. An alligator caused death is exceedingly rare and has not happened on our island before to my knowledge,” Weaver said on Sunday. “We know that we must act responsibly and with care around these animals. Consequently, it will be important to know and to share with the community the facts and circumstances from this tragedy, so we can avoid experiencing anything like this again,”
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