RIP Philo

missing lady in Florida

> A dog-walker in the US state of Florida has gone missing, and she was attacked by an alligator, a witness told police.

> The 911 caller said the reptile dragged the woman into a lake at 09:45 on Friday (13:45 GMT) in the town of Davie, 25 miles (40km) north of Miami.

> Local media report officers found a dog on a leash but no signs of the woman at Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park.

I guess we'll never know what happened. Maybe she was engaged and is a runaway bride. Or could be gambling debts.

Last seen being dragged underwater by an alligator. But then what? We can't know.
Permalink Reality Check 
June 8th, 2018 4:49pm
BBC: "Despite the reptiles' widespread presence, only 22 people have died in alligator attacks in Florida since 1948."

That seems low, I can think of a dozen I know of.


Orlando Sentinal: "Twenty-three people have been killed by alligators in Florida since 1948, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That doesn't include cases that are still under investigation."


None of the ones I know of are included in the "official" count.

How many people were killed by alligators in Florida since 1948 but are not counted among the official total?

Permalink Reality Check 
June 8th, 2018 4:52pm
Officially accepted deaths since 1973: 23. Before 1973: 0.

1. Sharon Holmes, 16, was killed by an 11-foot 3-inch male alligator while swimming at dusk in a lake at Oscar Scherer State Park, Sarasota County, on Aug. 16, 1973. The alligator was killed, and body parts from the victim were found in its stomach. The alligator had recently moved into the lake and was reportedly to have been fed by visitors to the park.

2. George Leonard, 52, was seized on the arm by an alligator while swimming in the Peace River Canal, Charlotte County, on Sept. 28, 1977, at 8:35 p.m. A 7-foot alligator, which had appeared in the canal the day of the bite, severed the victim's arm at the elbow. Leonard died three days later of complications from the bite.

3. Phillip Rastrelli, 14, was killed while swimming across the Hidden River Canal off Bessie Creek in Martin County on Sept. 10, 1978, at noon. The alligator was an 11-foot healthy male.

4. Robert Crespo, 11, was killed while swimming in a canal in St. Lucie County on Aug. 6, 1984, at 4:30 p.m. The alligator was 12 feet 4 inches, aged and in poor health.

5. Paul Mirabito, 27, disappeared while diving and harassing small alligators in the Wellington C27 canal near West Palm Beach on May 4, 1985. His body was recovered two days later with severe injuries to the neck and puncture wounds on the arm. The medical examiner concluded that the cause of death was drowning, but noted evidence of bleeding around the wounds, indicating the bites occurred before drowning.

Tourists to Florida fascinated with alligators

6. George Cummings III, 29, was killed while snorkeling in the Wakulla River on July 13, 1987, at 2 p.m. The alligator was an 11-foot healthy male.

7. Erin Glover, 4, was seized and killed by an alligator while walking along the shore of Hidden Lake, Charlotte County, on June 4, 1988, at 6:10 p.m. The alligator was a 10-foot 7-inch male.

8. Bradley Weidenhamer, 10, was killed while wading in the Loxahatchee River at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County on June 19, 1993. The alligator was an 11-foot 4-inch male.

9. Grace Eberhart, 70, was killed at Lake Serenity in Sumter County on Oct. 3, 1993. The circumstances surrounding her death are unknown, but she died of a broken neck caused by an alligator bite to the throat and head. Several alligators may have been involved in the incident. The largest measured 9 feet 7 inches long.

10. Adam Binford, 3, was killed at Lake Ashby in Volusia County on March 21, 1997. The child strayed outside the roped-off swimming area in a county park to pick some lily pads when an 11-foot alligator attacked him. Splashing dogs in the area may have attracted the alligator. His body was recovered the next day about a mile away.

11. Samuel Wetmore, 70, was killed in a pond near his residence in Venice in Sarasota County. He was found on May 4, 2001, and the county medical examiner determined that he died from multiple trauma and loss of blood. An 8-foot 4-inch alligator was removed and destroyed.

Florida trappers work 24/7 when alligators get too close for comfort

12. Alexandria Murphy, 2, was killed at Lake Cannon in Polk County on June 23, 2001. She wandered 700 feet from her fenced backyard where she had been playing when last seen by her mother. A 6-foot 6-inch alligator was removed and destroyed.

13. Robert Steele, 82, was killed near his house on Rabbit Road in Sanibel on Sept. 11, 2001. Steele was walking his terrier on a narrow path that ran between two wetland areas close to J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge when a 10-foot 9-inch gator seized him and dragged him into the water, severing his leg. FWC officers destroyed the alligator. Another 6-foot alligator was also removed.

14. Brian Griffin, 12, was killed while swimming near a boat ramp in the Dead River in Lake County on June 18, 2003. The male alligator that attacked and drowned Griffin was 10 feet 4 inches long and weighed 339 pounds. That alligator and several other large alligators were captured and destroyed.

15. Janie Melsek, 54, was seized by an alligator while landscaping near a pond along Poinciana Circle in Sanibel on July 21, 2004. Melsek survived the attack, but died later of an infection related to the wounds. The alligator that attacked Melsek was a 12-foot 3-inch male, which was removed and destroyed.

11-foot alligator pulled from Florida storm drain

16. Michelle Reeves, 20, was killed while swimming after midnight in a retention pond at the Lee Memorial Health Park in Lee County on Sept. 26, 2004. Reeves was visiting the area during a college break. The 7-foot 11-inch male alligator that attacked her was removed and destroyed.

17. Donald Ray Owen, 56, was found dead in Six Pound Pond near Lakeland in Polk County with multiple alligator bites and the left arm amputated below the elbow. The medical examiner determined that the victim was bitten before dying on March 11, 2005. Circumstances of the incident are uncertain because there were no witnesses. The 9-foot 8-inch male alligator responsible for the attack was caught and destroyed.

18. Kevin Murray, 41, was killed while swimming in a canal in Port Charlotte on July 15, 2005. The 12-foot 2-inch male alligator that attacked him was removed and destroyed.

19. Yovoy Suarez-Jimenez, 28, was killed by an alligator at the North New River Canal in Sunrise on May 10, 2006. Circumstances of the attack are uncertain because no witnesses were present. The 9-foot 6-inch male alligator that attacked her was caught and destroyed.

20. Judy Cooper, 42, was killed by an alligator in a canal in the East Lake Woodlands subdivision in Oldsmar on May 13, 2006. Circumstances of the attack are uncertain because of no witnesses. The 8-foot 5-inch female alligator responsible for the attack was caught and destroyed.

21. Annmarie Campbell, 23, was seized and drowned by an alligator in Juniper Run in the Ocala National Forest on May 14, 2006, while snorkeling. Campbell had separated from others in her party, and was alone when the attack occurred. Companions found her in the jaws of the alligator less than 30 minutes after the attack and forced the alligator to release her by assaulting its head. The 11-foot 5-inch male alligator was captured four days later and destroyed.

The parents were there, so was the gator: Your Say

22. Justo Antonio Padron, 36, was seized and drowned by an alligator as he was swimming across a pond at the Miccosukee Indian reservation in west Miami on Nov. 8, 2007. Eyewitnesses watched as Padron disappeared under water, while trying to elude police. His body was later recovered at the bottom of the pond by divers. A 9-foot 4-inch alligator and a 7-foot 6-inch alligator were removed from the pond, the larger of which was believed to be responsible for the attack.

23. James Okkerse, 61, was killed while snorkeling in Blue Spring Run in Orange City on Oct. 19, 2015. The 12-foot male alligator responsible for the attack was captured and destroyed.
Permalink Reality Check 
June 8th, 2018 4:54pm
The rule is they have to catch the alligator and remove the body from its stomach and officially match it to the missing person.

Without all of these, it is NOT an alligator death according to the Florida Wildlife Commission, which says alligator deaths are rare and Florida is a safe state to visit for business or play.

Video taping an alligator biting a person's head off and dragging their body underwater does NOT count as an alligator related death unless the body is later recovered from the alligator.
Permalink Reality Check 
June 8th, 2018 4:56pm
A friend of mine thought it would be fun to feed an alligator.  She walked up to it with a piece of chicken. The gater lunged with a wide open mouth.

She was lucky to escape unharmed. She now strongly recommends that you stay far from the gaters. She says they can move surprisingly fast for an animal that looks like it should be as slow as a sloth.
Permalink Legion 
June 8th, 2018 8:34pm
Your friend is an idiot
Permalink Snowflake Nazi 
June 8th, 2018 11:01pm

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