Alligator eats puppy at Gulf State Park

A 9-week-old puppy was snatched up by what the owner describes as an 8-foot alligator (WPMI)

An alligator attack at Gulf State Park is prompting officials there to put up warning signs and fencing in an area where few gators have been seen before.

It happened Thursday afternoon around 5 P.M. when a 9-week-old puppy was snatched up by what the owner describes as an 8 ft alligator near the walking trails at the park.

Gulf Shores resident Hannah Upchurch was walking the back trails at Gulf State Park. It's something she always looked forward to, until now.

"It jumped out full force 10 seconds the fastest thing I've ever seen," said Upchurch.

Her puppy, a 9-week-old Shepard, Huskie mix named "Havoc" was gone.

Hannah called the police and once a wildlife officer arrived they searched for the alligator and subsequently have put up these hand written signs along with warning tape and new fencing.

"This is a terrible situation yesterday I received a call from police saying a lady needed help. we hadn't had any incidents over there," said Lisa Laraway with Gulf State Park.

"I'm not mad at anybody, I'm not mad at the animal its just natural instinct for it to do what it did," said Upchurch. Hannah's is right this is nesting season for alligators in our area.

Female gators will do anything to protect a nest.

Alligator experts at Alligator Alley in Summerdale gave Local 15 New a tour of wild nesting areas at the park. Only here we were protected by high fencing.

Alligator handler Joe Hegler says Summer time is when alligator are the most active. " Its very active time for alligators in general but more so for these females that are protecting these nests," said Hegler.

"I know they are here it their natural habitat. I'm not naive or ignorant to that I do understand the main point I want to make about it is that there's supposed to be signs here and there wasn't. There was a sign broken in the water right here that was probably put up years ago and was not replaced," said Upchurch.

Park officials say if they can locate the alligator it will be removed.

Right now they haven't been able to find the gator.