Florida man killed in suspected alligator attack, police say

kali9/Getty Images

(LARGO, Fla.) — A Florida man was killed in a suspected alligator attack, authorities said.

The Largo Police Department said Tuesday it is investigating the death of a man at Taylor Lake in Largo, a city in the Tampa Bay area.

“At this time, detectives believe the victim was looking for Frisbees in the water and a gator was involved,” the department said in a statement.

The man was found by a visitor at Taylor Park, home to a 53-acre freshwater lake, and police were contacted around 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to Largo Police Department spokesperson Megan Santo.

The man’s identity has not been released pending next-of-kin notification. He was 47-years-old, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which also responded to the scene.

The agency was still working to capture the alligator Tuesday afternoon, Santo said.

“A contracted nuisance alligator trapper is working to remove a nearby alligator and efforts will be made to determine if it was involved in this situation,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement.

Police urged residents and visitors to avoid going near or swimming in the lake at any time. There are no swimming signs posted at the lake, according to police.

Fatal alligator bites are rare. From 1948 to 2021, Florida reported 442 unprovoked bite incidents from alligators, 26 of which resulted in fatalities, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In the last 10 years, the state has averaged eight unprovoked bites a year that require medical treatment, the agency said.

The likelihood of someone being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly one in 3.1 million, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The last fatal alligator attack in Florida was in 2019, according to the agency.

A man was bitten in the face by an alligator at Taylor Park in 2020 while looking for frisbees in the lake, Tampa ABC affiliate Tampa WFTS reported at the time. The injury was non-life-threatening.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.