Fence built at W. Ashley living center after woman eaten by gator

Fence built at W. Ashley living center after woman eaten by gator
Published: Sep. 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2016 at 10:58 PM EDT
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WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - A new fence is now at a West Ashley senior living center after a 90-year-old woman was eaten by an alligator.

The Brookedale Senior Living Center put a fence around the retention pond where Bonnie Walker fell one early one morning in July.

Officials say she was able to wander out of the building. The coroner's office believes the woman fell down the embankment, landed in the water and attracted the alligator.

"Our investigation has confirmed that an alligator was involved in the decedent's death," the coroner's office said in a statement at the time of the incident. "There is no indication of an "attack", but rather it is likely that the decedent slipped, fell down a steep embankment, or otherwise landed in the water, attracting the attention of the alligator."

There were signs at the pond warning there are gators at the time of the incident.

In this case, investigators have said the signs wouldn't have made a difference.

Sam Chappelear with DNR said in July officers pulled the gator from the pond and believe killed the elderly woman. Chappelear participated in the necropsy.

"We opened it up and we were sure we had the right gator," Chappelear said. "Any splashing in the water is going to attract a gator, that's what they go to, they'll go investigate. They're an opportunistic feeder."

Walker's body was recovered by the Charleston Police Dive Team.

According to DHEC officials, they have received four complaints about the facility in the past two years. 

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