A Florida woman walking her dog on a golf course watched in horror as a crocodile snatched and killed the canine on Nov. 28.
The unidentified woman was riding her bicycle while her pit bull mix followed off leash, when the dog started chasing ducks and got too close to the water. A 6-foot-long crocodile then snatched the pooch and dragged it into the pond.
The dog, estimated to be between 20 and 30 pounds, did not surface until the morning of Nov. 30.
The traumatic moment happened so fast that the woman was unable to intervene and could only watch her dog die.
"It was a saltwater crocodile that normally feeds on raccoons and possums that come up to the water for a drink," Lorenzo Veloz, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Sun Sentinel. "This dog ran up to the water, and the crocodile dragged him in just like regular prey."
"It didn't need to happen if the person had had their dog leashed," Veloz added.
The reptile is endangered, so it is protected by the federal government, WPLG reports.
Golfers in the area are staying extra vigilant and making sure to avoid the water.
"For those that play golf, you always know that it's a danger, but you never hear real stories about people, or animals for that matter, getting hurt," golfer Andrew Culver, who was visiting from Chicago, told WPLG.
"I told my friend, 'Just tell me if this animal is moving,' because I have respect for these animals," golfer Nicole Stoneman told WSVN. "They are still animals."
Local marine biologist Gerard Loisel said the saltwater ponds are typical hangouts for the reptiles. While the dog was clearly too close to the water, he said, he is still shocked that the attack happened.
"[Crocodiles are] shy, timid," he said. "It's hard to approach them, but they can present a problem."