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Trapper continues to hunt dog-killing gator in Sunrise

Dog's owner says incident should serve as warning to others

SUNRISE, Fla. – It's a beautiful day for a walk along the lake, but Ida Fayberg is keeping her beloved dog Tonga on a short leash.

"Yeah, I have to be careful," she said. "Yeah, I know."

Residents said an alligator appears to be hunting family pets behind the lakefront homes in the Residences of Sunrise community. 

A 10-year-old mixed-breed dog named Jessie was snatched right off the bank behind Mark Byers' home Tuesday night. Byers told Local 10 News that his family's loss should be a warning to others.

"When one gets this big, his food source is not little ducks," Byers said. "Generally speaking, he's going to hit bigger things. And, you know, a 50-pound dog is the size of, you know, kids."

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are warning lakeside neighbors to keep their pets inside.

A private trapper has set a few traps around the lake, but said it could be awhile before the gator is caught. Cold weather spoils an alligator's appetite, and the one they're trying to catch just had a big meal two days ago.

Nevertheless Byers said he'll be keeping a close eye on the water behind his home.

"Yeah, I'll let him know when the trap is sprung," Byers said. "That's all we can do."

Follow Roger Lohse on Twitter @RogerLohse

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10