A 14-foot alligator carrying a dead body in its mouth was reportedly spotted Friday afternoon by a witness at a Largo waterway.
The deceased adult and the 13-foot, 8.5-inch alligator were found by deputies who responded to a call around 1:50 p.m. near Ridgecrest Park, which includes a 5-acre lake, Bay News 9 reported. The alligator was “humanely killed,” removed from the waterway and loaded onto a truck by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, according to a release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO).
Alligator loaded onto truck. Sadly, we did see from chopper a human body pulled by divers from the canal. pic.twitter.com/rfCHBV1atL
— holly gregory (@hollygregory33) September 22, 2023
The human adult’s remains were retrieved by the PSCO dive team after the alligator was addressed. An autopsy will be conducted on the dead body by the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office to confirm the time and cause of death, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Alligator Attacks And Kills South Carolina Woman)
“A lot of my neighbors were out here and they’re the ones that told me about the gator,” Jennifer Dean, an area resident, said. “While we were standing here we heard a shot, I assume they killed the gator.”
There were many alligators in the area, Dean told the outlet, but she had never seen one as large as the animal responsible for the incident. Emergency personnel shot the alligator “a few times” after pulling it from the water, JaMarcus Ballard, another witness, said.
“I could tell there was a body in its mouth, so I started recording,” Ballard said. “I came down to the fire department and reported it to them.”
The identity of the deceased individual has yet to be released.