Animal Rights

Texas Man Killed By Alligator During Late-Night Swim (Photos)

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A 28-year-old man from Orange, Texas, was killed by an alligator during a late-night swim.

Tommie Woodward’s death marks the first fatal alligator attack in Texas in nearly two centuries, Beaumont Enterprise reports.

Woodward was swimming in Adams Bayou with a woman, Orange police said. It is believed alcohol was a factor.

“He went under one time, then he hollered at her to get out of the water. Then he pulled him down the second time and that was it. I've been here all my life and this is the first time something like this has happened. ... I'm still in shock,” marina owner Allen Burkhart said.

Woodward’s body was found by Orange County sheriff’s deputies and a Texas game warden about two hours later at 4:30 a.m., The Daily Mail reports.

The woman was not injured.

Woodward’s left arm was missing from the elbow down and he had puncture wounds on his upper chest, Capt Robert Enmon with the Orange Police Department said.

The owners of the marina had recently spotted a large alligator and had placed signs up warning people to not swim there. They estimated the alligator was longer than 11 feet.

Rodney Price,the Orange County Justice of the Peace, told KFDM that Woodward was told not to go into the water, but he ignored the warnings.

"He removed his shirt, removed his billfold ... someone shouted a warning and he said 'blank the alligators' and jumped in to the water and almost immediately yelled for help," Price said.

(Photo Credit: KTRK via The Daily Mail)

The photo below of an alligator was caught later in the water by local television station KFDM. 

(Photo Credit: KTRK via The Daily Mail)

Enmon thinks the alligator may have been protecting its habitat or could have been startled.

“You've got to remember that alligators are a predatory species, they are territorial, and they will take advantage of an opportunity,” Enmon said.

Reddit users had plenty to say about Woodward’s death by alligator attack.

“The thing is, what most people don't realize is that when you enter a body of water, particularly those along coastal regions, your position in the food chain immediately changes,” user Soylent_Gringo commented.

“Dollars to donuts, this guys family tries to sue the Marina for not protecting him from his own stupidity,” user joshl38 wrote.

“A ranger in the Everglades told us that there were three characteristics shared by humans killed by alligators: Drunk, Naked, Male. You rarely find a fatality without one, but most often, all three,” lcamon commented.

User changes_of_ways responded to lcamon with what may be seen as humor, or insensitivity.

“At least these guys are thoughtful enough to remove articles of clothing that might cause the gators indigestion,” changes_of_ways responded.

Authorities are not going to hunt the alligator but a private effort may occur to capture it, Enmon said.

Sources: Beaumont Enterprise, The Daily Mail, Reddit

​Photo Source: The Daily Mail