(Reuters) - A 45-year-old woman walking her dog in South Carolina died on Monday after being snatched and dragged underwater by an 8-foot (2.44-meter) alligator, the county sheriff's office said.

A witness called police to report an alligator was attacking a woman at a lagoon on Hilton Head Island, a popular tourist destination, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Police recovered her body and identified the victim as Cassandra Cline of Hilton Head Island. The alligator believed to be responsible for the attack was captured and killed, said Robert McCullough, a captain for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

ADVERTISEMENT

The dog was not harmed, the authorities said.

Alligators typically roll their victim beneath the water's surface until their prey stops breathing, before stashing the body to eat later.

Alligator attacks are uncommon in the United States, where the majority of animal-related deaths are caused by farm animals, hornets, wasps, bees and dogs, according to a study published in March.

In June, a nearly 13-foot alligator in Florida killed a woman in an attack, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Two years ago, an alligator snatched a 2-year-old boy from the edge of a lake at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. His parents tried to save the child but were unable to free him.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

ADVERTISEMENT

Family of U.S. boy killed by alligator 'overwhelmed' by support here

An Update on Fatalities Due to Venomous and Nonvenomous Animals in the United States (2008-2015) here

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Lisa Shumaker)