Monday, September 25, 2023
Both horror and grief engulfed Largo, the third largest city in Pinellas County, Florida, after an enormous 14-foot alligator was found sneaking down a moss-filled canal with the half-eaten human body clamped between its humungous jaws.
The victim has been identified as a 41-year-old woman, authorities said.
"The situation unfolded a little before 2pm local time Friday, when deputies were called to an unincorporated part of Largo — located in the Tampa Bay area — after the body of the victim, later identified as Sabrina Peckham, was spotted in a waterway," the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reported.
Jamarcus Bullard told WFLA he saw the alligator and a body in the water on 134th Avenue North.
He said: "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."
The onlooker was astonished and promptly started to capture the moment on his cell phone and contacted authorities. A video he shared with the news station showed an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission measuring the massive animal.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the 13-foot, 8.5-inch male alligator was removed from the water and was "humanely killed". The remains of an adult were also recovered.
After learning about the incident, the residents were alerted.
Jennifer Dean told WFLA that her children frequently walk by the canal. "So it’s really scary," she said.
Bullard said he walks by the waterway to and from work and will be more vigilant now.
In June, authorities reported a woman who was attacked by an alligator and was killed while she was walking with her dog in South Carolina in the Spanish Wells community on Hilton Head Island.
Beaufort County Sheriff's Office had said that the officials responded at about 9:30am Tuesday after receiving a report of a possible alligator attack near a lagoon bordering a golf course in the Spanish Wells community on Hilton Head Island.
According to officials, a 69-year-old resident of the community was located at the edge of the lagoon and appeared to be unresponsive.
"Rescue efforts were made and an alligator appeared and was guarding the woman, interrupting emergency efforts," the sheriff's office said. "The gator was safely removed from the area and the woman's body was recovered."