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LAKEWOOD RANCH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: General view of an Alligator laying on the ground alongside a pond on the 5th hole during the second round of the LECOM Suncoast Classic at Lakewood National Golf Club Commander on February 18, 2022 in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

A Florida man is in mourning after he watched helplessly as an alligator devoured his beloved dog.

Josh Wells says he and his dog, Toby, were walking along the J.R. Alford Greenway Trail in Tallahassee when he stopped to play fetch with the 40-pound black Labrador. Toby had run into some shallow water just off the trail when a huge gator suddenly appeared and clamped its jaws around the dog’s head. “Boom, the water just sort of exploded,” Wells says. “He never barked. He never saw it. It took him down like it was nothing.”

Wells says he initially tried to help Toby, but he backed off when he realized the alligator was more than nine feet long. Wildlife officials later captured the gator and euthanized it, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife.

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