A 13-foot, 8.5-inch alligator was euthanized by authorities in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area after it was seen with human remains in its mouth.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it removed the large alligator from the waterway after responding to a report of a human body seen in a canal in unincorporated Largo Friday afternoon. according to a press release.
The alligator was “humanely killed” with assistance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FCW).
Jamarcus Bullard, who contacted police after seeing the human remains in the alligator’s jaws, described how he discovered the alligator Local station WFLA.
“I threw a rock at the alligator just to see if it was really an alligator and it pulled the body like it was holding on to the lower part of the torso and pulled it under the water,” Bullard said.
He went on to observe in detail how authorities caged the alligator after the shocking encounter.
“They discovered it here on this site,” Bullard told the local outlet. “And they took this thing with the long stick, pulled the head out of the water and then shot it. And when they had taken it all the way out, they stretched it out, measured it to be 13 feet long, and shot it again.”
The victim has been publicly identified as 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham, officials said in an updated news release Saturday.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said the Medical Examiners Office is investigating the manner of the victim’s death and the cause of death.
American alligators are typically found in freshwater lakes, slow-moving rivers, and sometimes brackish water habitats, but rarely in saltwater. according to the FWC.
From 1948 to 2021, 26 people have died in alligator attacks in Florida. according to the agency.