Man dies in alligator-filled lake while looking for frisbees

US News

A man has died in a suspected alligator attack while looking for frisbees in a lake.

The 47-year-old was combing the water at Taylor Park Disc Golf Course in Largo, Florida, where people are warned to beware of the aggressive reptiles.

“At this time, detectives believe the victim was looking for frisbees in the water and a gator was involved,” Largo police said.

“There are posted signs of no swimming in the lake.”

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An alligator swims in Taylor Lake near the scene where a man was found dead after going into the water to retrieve lost disc golf discs at John S. Taylor Park, Tuesday, May 31, 2022 in Largo, Fla. (Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
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An alligator swims in Taylor Lake. Pic: Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times via AP

A specialist is working to remove an alligator from the lake and experts will then try to establish if it was involved in the death, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Visitors to the disc course say people are often seen looking for lost frisbees so they can be sold on for a few dollars.

“These are people that are down on their luck,” Ken Hostnick told the Tampa Bay Times.

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“Sometimes they dive in the lakes, they’ll pull out 40 discs. You may sell them for five bucks a piece, and you may sell them for 10 bucks a piece, depending on the quality.”

A state-contracted alligator trapper walks near the area where a man was found dead after going into the water to retrieve lost disc golf discs at John S. Taylor Park, Tuesday, May 31, 2022 in Largo, Fla. (Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
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A specialist is working to remove an alligator from the lake. Pic: Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times via AP

Police are telling people to avoid the lake while the investigation continues.

If confirmed, this would be the first fatal alligator attack in Florida since 2019, although people and animals have been bitten from from time to time.

Wildlife officials stress that no one should approach a wild alligator or feed them, because the reptiles then associate people with food.

Once considered endangered animals in Florida, alligators have since flourished and can be found almost anywhere in the state.

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