A 14-foot-long alligator was reportedly spotted by a witness in the Largo Channel Friday afternoon with a carcass in its mouth.
The deceased adult and 13-foot-8.5-inch alligator were found near Ridgecrest Park, a 5-acre lake, by deputies who responded around 1:50 p.m., Bay News 9 reported. report. The alligator was “humanely killed” by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, removed from the waterway and loaded into a truck, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said in a statement.
A crocodile loaded onto a truck. Sadly, a human body was seen pulled from the canal by divers from the helicopter. pic.twitter.com/rfCHBV1atL
— Holly Gregory (@hollygregory33) September 22, 2023
The adult human remains were recovered by the PSCO dive team after dealing with the crocodile. The Pinellas County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy on the body to determine the cause and time of death, the report said. (Related: Alligator kills South Carolina woman)
“A lot of my neighbors came here and they were the ones who told me about the alligators,” said Jennifer Dean, who lives in the area. “We heard gunshots as we were standing here. I think they killed the alligator.”
Dean said there were many alligators in the area, but he had never seen one as big as the one that caused the incident. Another witness, Jamarcus Ballard, said paramedics fired “several times” after pulling the alligator out of the water.
“I started recording because I could see there was a dead body in the mouth,” Ballard said. “I went to the fire department and reported it.”
The identity of the deceased individual has not yet been released.