Bougie the French Bulldog found dead after being attacked by alligator

Published 1:44 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

Kai Fuson’s French Bulldog went missing on April 18, and days later the dog was found dead, wounded by an alligator.

Fuson lives in the Lakeland Village subdivision, and she initially thought her 10-month-old puppy, Bougie, had just wandered off after being let out in the backyard.

But when she didn’t show back up, Fuson, who was working out of town at the time, said, “My husband was running around the yard frantically looking for her,” but it was to no avail. Fuson made Facebook posts hoping that someone in the neighborhood had seen her.

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After making her way back home the next day, Fuson checked the security camera at her home with hopes of seeing some evidence that Bougie had wandered into the front yard. The dog was not on the camera, so Fuson and her cousin began scouring the property.

They did not find Bougie, but they did find “claw marks” — alligator claw marks — on the bank of the lake.

“I broke down,” Fuson said.

On April 27, the couple called the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to report the sighting, and “trappers” made their way to the couple’s home that evening. They were unable to find anything.

On April 28, Bougie’s body was found next to the bank.

Fuson said the MDWFP had informed them that this was mating season for alligators and the smaller gators — those measuring six to eight feet — are usually pushed out of the Mississippi River by larger alligators. When this happens, the reptiles make their way to smaller bodies of water.

The size of the alligator roaming the lakes in the couple’s subdivision must have been one of these smaller alligators, Fuson said, because it was unable to swallow her 25-pound dog.

Cappy Martin also lives in the Lakeland Village subdivision and said she saw an alligator in the lake; others in the area have seen it, too.

“We think it is only one (alligator) but he moves from lake to lake looking for a mate,” Martin said.

Fuson said she has heard there have been sightings of alligators at Clear Creek.

Both Martin and Fuson are warning people who live in the area to be aware of alligators.

“You know, you think your home is a safe haven and then you come to find out that there’s a predator less than 50 feet out in your back yard and it grabs your dog — and you can’t do anything about it,” Fuson said.

The MDWFP website reiterates what the trappers conveyed to Fuson.

“Juvenile alligators often disperse into new territories in the late spring and early summer months. During this dispersal, they occasionally find themselves in unusual locations near human development, such as; farm ponds, road ditches, highways, parking lots, yards, swimming pools, neighborhood water landscape pools and even buildings.”

And for those thinking they can capture or kill an alligator, the website reminds people, “It is illegal and very dangerous for the public to capture and remove or kill an alligator without a special permit from the MDWFP.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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