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Florida authorities killed an alligator that was seen with human remains in its mouth

An alligator is seen at the Everglades National Park, Fla. On Friday, a gator was reportedly spotted with human remains in its mouth in a canal in Largo, Florida.
Alan Diaz
/
AP
An alligator is seen at the Everglades National Park, Fla. On Friday, a gator was reportedly spotted with human remains in its mouth in a canal in Largo, Florida.

A large alligator was killed by officials after it was seen with human remains in its mouth in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Jamarcus Bullard said he witnessed the horrific scene in a canal in unincorporated Largo before reporting the sighting to authorities on Friday, local station WFLA reported.

When the scene turned gruesome, Bullard hit record on his phone.

"I threw a rock at the gator just to see if it was really a gator and like it pulled the body, like it was holding on to the lower part of the torso, and pulled it under the water," Bullard told the TV station.

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, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The sheriff's office has identified the deceased person as 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham.

The manner and cause of death is pending and the investigation is ongoing, officials said in an update on Saturday.

It's not yet known whether the alligator killed Peckham. But recent high-profile alligator attacks on humans have left some Floridians on edge. In February, an alligator killed an 85-year-old woman in Fort Pierce while she was trying to save her dog. Two weeks later, a man survived a bite after opening his front door to a gator.

Still, it's extremely rare for alligators to attack humans when unprovoked, Frank Mazzotti, a professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Florida told NPR earlier this year.

"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," Mazzotti said.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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