Alligator kills Florida man retrieving Frisbees from lake, officials say

The body of a man who retrieved frisbees from a Florida public park lake that is home to alligators was found Tuesday with his arm torn ...


The body of a man who retrieved frisbees from a Florida public park lake that is home to alligators was found Tuesday with his arm torn off, authorities said. It was the state’s first fatal alligator attack since 2019.

The episode occurred at a 53-acre lake in John S. Taylor Park in Largo, Fla., a Largo Police Department spokesperson said. She added that police believe “an alligator was involved” in the death.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission identified the victim only as a 47-year-old man.

The man was a ‘passenger’ who made a living selling Frisbees to people playing disc golf on a course parallel to the lake, and ‘died from an alligator attack’, Paul Cozzie , director of Parks and Conservation Resources in Pinellas County, said in a phone interview.

‘It looks like he entered before the park opened – sadly not a good time to be in a lake, but especially during alligator breeding season,’ Mr Cozzie said, calling the decision ‘a mistake which seems to have cost him his life”. .”

Someone in the park around 8 a.m. saw the body on the shore of the lake with one of its arms severed, Mr Cozzie said.

John S. Taylor Park Features a disc golf course along the lake. Park rangers had encountered the man trying to enter the lake in April, Mr Cozzie said, and told him another attempt would get him banned from the park.

Local disc golfers eschew cheap supermarket Frisbees and prefer specialized discs designed to perform specific types of throws, which makes their equipment valuable, Cozzie said. Tuesday’s man was not the first person to be attacked by an alligator while trying to collect the discs for cash, he said, adding that a few years ago a man had been bitten in the face by an alligator in the same lake, but survived.

The lake drops six to eight feet, Mr. Cozzie said, so you have to “play at the bottom” to find discs.

A hole in the disc golf course is as close as 25 to 50 feet from the water, Cozzie said. “Certainly it might be wise for the disc golf group to consider moving the hole,” he added.

He described the lake as being connected to other nearby bodies of water, making it “almost a highway for alligators to roam all over the county.” There are signs warning people not to enter, and even park rangers cannot wade in the lake, Mr Cozzie said.

During mating season, which occurs in May or June, alligators become more aggressive and territorial, Cozzie said. Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn, according to the wildlife commissionwho said in a press release that an alligator trapper was dispatched “to remove a nearby alligator” after the body was discovered.

Later Tuesday, wildlife officials captured and euthanized an alligator near the site of the attack, according to WFLA-TV, an NBC affiliate in Tampa. A necropsy was to be performed to determine if it was the alligator responsible for the man’s death.

It’s more common for alligators to attack pets than for them to attack people, Cozzie said. According to wildlife commission data, over the past 10 years, there have been an average of eight “major” incidents of alligators biting people in Florida, resulting in four deaths in total.

The remains of a 47-year-old woman who was walking her dogs were discovered inside an alligator in 2018, and an alligator snatch a 2-year-old boy at a Disney resort in 2016.

A population of about 1.3 million alligators are found in “virtually every fresh and brackish water body” in the state, the wildlife commission says. The group says alligators are “naturally afraid of humans” but feeding alligators, which is illegal, causes them to dangerously associate people with food.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Alligator kills Florida man retrieving Frisbees from lake, officials say
Alligator kills Florida man retrieving Frisbees from lake, officials say
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