Florida’s gargantuan reptiles have been making the news a lot lately — seemingly hitting some kind of peak last week, when a video was posted showing an approximately 16-foot-long alligator roaming the Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto.
But a chilling story that broke yesterday afternoon might be the scariest gator tale of the year.
Authorities in Lakeland, Florida raced to Lake Hunter in response to a 911 caller, who claimed to have spotted a very large alligator swimming with a human corpse in its mouth.
When WFLA News interviewed police on the scene, Lakeland PD Sergeant Gary Gross told them the gator eventually let go of the body, which was presumed dead before police arrived… but as of this post they did not determine if the creature had actually killed the person, who has not yet been identified.
“The officers got here and the alligator still had the person,” Sgt. Gross said. “[W]hen the officer got here the alligator did a roll and had the person in contact with him.”
Gross told WFLA the officers were prepared to use their weapons to keep the alligator from submerging again with the body, but it ended up releasing it long enough for police to pull the body from the water.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officers worked with local gator trapper Scott Barbon to locate and trap the creature.
“The main thing now is, if they trap the gator, to try to figure out if they can do a test… and see if there are any human parts in that gator’s stomach,” the Sergeant said.
As of this writing, the trappers have not yet been able to capture the animal.
Lakeland made news in April when a giant alligator was spotted chowing down on another, smaller gator, as captured in this gruesome viral video: