An 11-foot alligator killed an elderly man walking his dog by a canal, biting off part of his leg in the third deadly alligator incident in Florida this year.
Robert Steele, 81, was declared dead at a hospital Tuesday. Investigators believe he may have been trying to protect his dog when he was attacked, said Sanibel Police Cmdr. Bill Tomlinson.
Wildlife officials spotted the alligator less than an hour later and shot it in the head.
"We saw it surface on the other bank with the leg in his mouth," said Tomlinson.
Ellen Steele, 81, thought her husband was drowning in the canal when she heard his screams. She pulled him as far up the canal's bank as she could before calling 911.
"We live among alligators. We protect them. They have never attacked us before," she said.
In June, a 2-year-old wandered from her backyard to a nearby lake and was killed by an alligator. In May, the chewed body of a 70-year-old man was found floating in a pond with an 8-foot alligator circling nearby.