A Florida alligator was killed while on the edge of a waterway with the body of a 41-year-old woman, officials said Saturday. Police said they responded to a call reporting a body in a creek in Largo, Florida, and that the roughly four-meter male alligator was "humanely killed" Friday. Police identified the body on Saturday and said the investigation was ongoing to determine "the circumstances and causes of death."
One witness, Jamarcus Bullard, told the media he saw a large alligator and a body in the creek and ran to the nearby fire station to raise the alarm. The animal "pulled the body, as if clinging to the lower part of its torso, and dragged it underwater," he described.
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Two deaths in the county in less than a year
The witness said that the alligator had fiercely defended itself against the police. "They wrapped a rope around his neck and secured him to the pulley of a truck," he said. "They were bringing him back, but he started dragging the truck into the water. So they took a long stick, pulled his head out of the water, and shot him," he said.
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Alligators are common in the southeastern United States, especially in Florida. In July, a 69-year-old woman was killed by one of them while walking her dog near a lagoon bordering a golf course in South Carolina. Police said it was the second fatal alligator attack in the county in less than a year.