Friday, 1 May, 2020

58 year old Cynthia Renee Covert was killed by an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) at a pond near Salt Cedar Lane on Kiawah Island. The victim apparently approached the alligator to take photos while a witness warned her that a deer had recently been taken at the same location. She apparently ignored these warnings and apparently tried to touch the alligator, which then seized her by her left leg and began pulling her into the pond. Witnesses attempted to rescue her with a rope but were unable. Police later arrived and shot the alligator in the head, causing it to release the victim's body, allowing for recovery. The alligator itself was later shot multiple times and killed. The details of this incident may change as more information is collected.

Location data

Latitude: 32.621435000000
Longitude: -80.041375000000

Incident details

Outcome: Fatal
Victim Age: 58
Sex: Female
Activity Detail: Was taking photo close to the alligator and then reportedly tried to touch it
Witnessed: Yes
Overall Quality of Report
Most important information is present and well-detailed
Date of Incident Date Precision
2020-05-01 Precise
Species Certainty
American Alligator Certain
Size (metres) Size Precision
3.0 Low certainty
Location scale Location accuracy
  • Precise Lat/Lon given
  • Waterbody (eg, river name)
  • District (common name for an area)
  • Province (or State)
  • Country

About the crocodilian

American Alligator

An iconic inhabitant of southeastern United States, the American alligator is a relatively large species that in rare cases can reach 4.5 m or 15 feet in length. The current range of the species extends from northeastern North Carolina (Alligator River NWR) through the Gulf Coast to eastern Texas and near the Mexican/USA border (Laguna Atascosa NWR). Occasionally itinerant animals have been found in the lower Rio Grande along the border with the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and within the Great Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia. The American alligator prefers freshwater habitat (e.g. swamps, marshes, rivers, lakes) but may occasionally be found in brackish areas. The species is tolerant of colder temperatures and is capable of surviving freezing winter conditions within certain parts of its range. Juveniles feed mostly upon invertebrates and small vertebrates, while adults may take birds, reptiles and mammals (including domestic dogs and cats). The American alligator has a rather undeserved reputation as a "man-eater"; while fatal attacks on humans have occurred in the past, these are not frequent (none since 2007) and rarely involve consumption of the victim. The species has recovered substantially since being protected in 1960's and currently populations in Lousiana and Florida are estimated to number over one million. Threats to the species are primarily localised and involve human encroachment and loss of habitat.

Alligator mississippiensis
American alligator range map

About this record

Last Updated Contributor Incident Link Node Item GUID FKID
2020-05-25 17:35 Brandon Sideleau 100-7891 7891