“My wife was attacked by an alligator in the backyard,” her frantic husband told the 911 operator.
He told the dispatcher that she had been bitten badly in her leg and hand. “It was the right leg and her right hand is almost chewed off,” he said.
Deborah Cook, 68, was walking her dog Monday night near a pond on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina when the nightmare happened around 10 p.m.
Her husband, Gary, told 911 he was trying to stop the bleeding while his wife was outside on the ground.
“I'm trying to, Debbie, I’m trying to. Hold on,” he said as he tried to console his wounded wife. “You'll be alright, Debbie. You've just got a bad bite on your leg.”
As the 911 operator asked him more questions, he was having difficulty answering because he was inside their home and did not see the gator.
“Is the leg wound bleeding more than the hand? Or is the hand bleeding more than the leg wound? They're both bad?” the dispatcher asked.
“I'm holding the flesh onto her,” he replied.
Animal expert Ron Magill of Zoo Miami offered his advice for avoiding a similar type of attack.
“If at all possible, I would avoid walking these animals at night, next to a body of water. If you need to walk in the evening time, make sure you're at least 20 yards away from a body of water,” Magill told Inside Edition. “Don't think you can run away if you're next to the shore or the water. Because in short spurts, an alligator can outrun even the fastest man.”
Debbie was treated at the scene and later transported to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.
Her dog ran away during the attack and was not harmed. The gator was captured and euthanized.