Gator found holding human body in its mouth in Florida
LAKELAND, Fla. - Officials in Florida said they were trying to trap an alligator on Tuesday afternoon after the animal was spotted holding a human body in its mouth as it swam across a lake.
Lakeland Police said they first received a 911 call from a senior living community where someone reported seeing the alligator clutching an adult male body in its jaws. The caller estimated the gator to be between 8 and 10 feet in length.
A spokesman for the senior living community said the body appeared to be missing an arm and a leg. He also noted that all of the community’s residents were accounted for.
The alligator eventually let go of the body, allowing investigators to retrieve the remains. Now they’re working to identify the person and determine a cause of death.
Lakeland Police Sgt. Gary Gross said the body did not appear to have been freshly killed. It was likely decomposing in the lake for more than a day, said Gross on Twitter.
Body has been pulled out of the water. Unk victim. Detectives on the scene. Press release will be sent out later pic.twitter.com/8mt66K8tYj— Sgt. Gary B Gross (@GaryBGross) June 7, 2016
Officials said there were no reports of missing persons in the area, but there was a report on Saturday of clothes and a backpack left behind at the lake’s boat launch. Residents of Lakeland say the area is known to be the habitat of at least one particularly aggressive alligator.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived at the scene Tuesday afternoon to begin the process of looking for the gator in the lake. FWC spokesman Gary Morse said they are trying to trap the reptile.
In May, two fisherman found a pair of Florida gators eating a corpse in the Everglades, making this the second time in two months that gators have turned up in news related to the discovery of human remains.