A large alligator was killed by Florida authorities after it was found with human remains in its mouth.
The incident: A witness, Jamarcus Bullard, reported the scene after observing the alligator in a canal in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
* Bullard threw a rock at the alligator, which was holding the lower part of a human torso in its mouth, causing it to pull the body under water.
Response by authorities: The 13-foot-8.5-inch male alligator was “humanely killed” and removed from the water with assistance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
* The deceased person was identified as 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham.
Investigation in progress: While the manner and cause of Peckham’s death is pending, it’s yet to be determined whether the alligator was responsible.
* The investigation is currently ongoing.
Context: Despite a few high-profile alligator attacks on humans, it remains extremely rare for alligators to attack humans unprovoked, according to Frank Mazzotti, a professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Florida.
* Quote: “When you go to the water’s edge you are in much more danger of drowning than you are of being bitten by an alligator,” said Mazzotti.
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