In this image: An alligator surfaces in a pond near located near the space shuttle Discovery as it sits on launch pad 39b at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Dec. 8, 2006. Getty Images/Mark Wilson

A 45-year-old woman was killed by an alligator while she was trying to protect her dog at a private South Carolina resort Monday, authorities said.

Cassandra Cline was walking along the residential area of Sea Pines Resort when the alligator attacked and dragged her into a lagoon.

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office responded to the lagoon off Wood Duck Road in the Sea Pines plantation at around 9.30 a.m. EDT on Monday after they received a call reporting the incident.

Fire personnel located the body inside the lagoon and retrieved it while the deputies interviewed the witnesses.

Witnesses said the woman “was walking her dog near the lagoon when she was attacked and pulled underwater by the alligator.” The alligator was said to 8 foot long. The dog remained unharmed.

The surveillance video of the attack was also reviewed by the security staff, said South Carolina Department of Natural Resources spokesman Capt. Robert McCullough.

“She was walking the dog near the lagoon and the alligator came out of the water and tried to get the dog,” David Lucas, another spokesman for the department, said. “The lady tried to rescue the dog and a maintenance worker ran over to help.”

The Sheriff's Office Environmental Crimes Unit, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Sea Pines Security all came together to search for the alligator.

Sam Chappalear of the department said the alligator was later found and euthanized.

According to McCullough, it was a common practice to kill the alligator when it gets reported for getting too aggressive. He added that it will take some time for the authorities to determine whether the alligator which was killed on Monday was the same one that attacked the woman.

Blake Smith, a local resident, said he was leaving his house when he saw police cars and fire trucks.

“I waited for about 30 minutes, then I started hearing rumors about what happened down the road from here,” Smith said. “It’s odd because this is the first time we’ve heard about an aggressive alligator around a human in the five years that we’ve been living here.”

He said there were times when alligators were spotted at yards or pools, but Sea Pines usually remove the animal from the premises at the earliest.

“They do a good job. This is just a sad incident,” he said. “I have a young son, so it’s kind of concerning to see something like this could happen.”

Lucas said alligator attacks on humans were extremely rare, adding that there were only 20 such attacks on people in the state since 1976. The first fatal attack was reported in 2016, when a 90-year-old woman was found dead in a pond after wandering away from a Charleston assisted living facility. Cline was the second person to die due to an attack from an alligator in South Carolina history, McCullough, said.

Sea Pines issued a statement on the death of the woman on Facebook: “Sea Pines CSA is actively working with local authorities to ensure necessary access to the site while the investigation is underway. At this time, little information is available about the individual or incident. We are extremely saddened by this news and will share information with the community as it is made available.”