How often do alligators attack people in Florida - ForumDaily
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How often do alligators attack people in Florida?

Florida is a state famous for its alligators. They live in many wetlands. Despite their cute appearance, these reptiles are incredibly dangerous. Click orlando tells how many people they killed in Florida.

American Alligator in the wetlands.

Photo: iStock.com/passion4nature

Since 1948, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has documented more than 450 attacks alligators on state residents, 30 of which were fatal.

FWC included in the list attack until 2022, although in 2023 there were two more attacks in Florida: one in Largo, the second in Fort Pierce.

On the subject: In Florida, a passerby saw a huge alligator with human remains in its mouth

The two most bizarre attacks occurred in 2007 and 2019. In both cases, the victims were killed by alligators while trying to escape police on local waterways.

Some lakes in Florida also pose a greater risk, particularly Lake Okeechobee and Orange Lake, which have the most alligators in the state.

All victims

List of all fatal attacks by these reptiles in Florida and how they occurred:

  • in 1973, Sharon Holmes (16 years old) died in Oscar Scherer Park,
    Sarasota County when she swam in the lake;
  • in 1977, George Leonard (52 years old) died in the Peace River Canal,
    Charlotte County. A predator bit a man on the hand while swimming in a canal. The victim died three days later from complications;
  • in 1978, Philip Rastrelli (14 years old) died in the Hidden River Canal,
    Martin County. He swam in the canal at Bessie Creek;
  • in 1984, Robert Crespi (11 years old) died in the Unnamed Canal, St. Lucie County. This happened while the child was bathing in the canal;
  • in 1985, Paul Mirabito (27) died in Wellington C27 Canal, Palm Beach County, while swimming in the canal;
  • in 1987, George Cummings (29) died in Wakulla River, Wakulla County. The attack occurred while the man was snorkeling in the river;
  • in 1988, Erin Glover (4 years old) died in Hidden Lake, Charlotte County. She just stood at the water's edge;
  • in 1993, Bradley Weidenhamer (10 years old) died in Loxahatchee River, Martin County. A boy was wading a river in Jonathan Dickinson State Park;
  • in 1993, Grace Eberhart (70) died in Lake Serenity, Sumter County. She was found dead by the lake;
  • in 1997, Adam Binford (3 years old) Lake Ashby, Volusia County died. The death occurred while playing on the lake;
  • in 2001, Samuel Wetmore (age 70) died in an unnamed body of water in Sarasota County. A man was found dead in a pond near his home;
  • in 2001, Alexandria Murphy (2 years old) died in Lake Cannon, Polk County. The baby was found dead by the lake;
  • in 2001, Robert Steele (82) died in an unnamed wetland in Lee County. He died while walking his dog along the water's edge near his home in Sanibel;
  • in 2003, Brian Griffin (age 12) died in Dead River, Lake County. The death occurred while swimming near a boat ramp;
  • in 2004, Janie Melsek (54) died at an unnamed pond in Lee County. She was bitten by an alligator while she was gardening near a pond. The woman subsequently died from complications;
  • in 2004, Michelle Reeves (20) died at Lee Memorial Health Park, Lee County, while swimming in a retention pond;

  • in 2005, Donald Owen (56) died at Six Pound Pond, Polk County. He was found dead in a pond near Lakeland;
  • in 2005, Kevin Murray (41) died in an unnamed canal, Charlotte County, while swimming in the canal;
  • in 2006, Yovoy Suarez-Jimenez (28) died in the North New River Canal, Broward County. The guy was found dead near the canal;
  • in 2006, Judy Cooper (42) died in East Lake Woodlands, Pinellas County. The victim was found dead in a canal;
  • in 2006, Annmarie Campbell (23) died in Ocala National Forest, Lake County. Death overtook her while snorkeling at Juniper Run;
  • in 2007, Justo Padron (36 years old) died on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation, Miami-Dade County. The alligator overtook him while trying to escape from the police along the pond;
  • in 2015, James Ockers, 61, died at Blue Spring Run in Volusia County. Death occurred while diving in Orange City;
  • in 2016, Lane Graves (2 years old) died at Seven Seas Lagoon, Orange County. An alligator waylaid a baby while playing on the shore;
  • in 2018, Shizuka Matsuki (47) died at Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park in Broward County. The reptile killed her while she was walking her dogs along the water's edge;
  • in 2019, Jardan Battle (31) died in a retention pond in Lee County. The daring carried him away while trying to escape from the police;
  • in 2022, Sean McGuinness (49) died in Taylor Park, Pinellas County. His death was the result of a golf ball being recovered from the lake;
  • in 2022, Rose Weygand (80) died at Boca Royale Golf Course Community, Sarasota County, while gardening at her home;
  • in 2023, Sabrina Peckham (41) died in a local pond in Pinellas County. Police found the remains;
  • in 2023, Gloria Serge (85 years old) died in Spanish Lakes Fairways,
    St. Lucie County. Her dog was attacked by an alligator while walking, and the owner went into the water to save the dog.

Recommendations of experts

The best way to protect yourself from an alligator attack is to avoid it completely.

Listen to the following tips:

  • Don't feed wild alligators. Firstly, it is illegal, and secondly, it will force alligators to associate us with food, causing the reptiles to lose their natural fear of people;
  • Don't throw fish scraps into trash cans, as they will inadvertently attract alligators looking for a snack.

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  • follow the directions on the signs. Do not swim anywhere outside designated areas;
  • swim during daylight hours. Alligators are most active at night, so daytime is probably a safer option;
  • Keep an eye on children and pets. Never allow children to play unsupervised near water and do not allow your pets too close to the shoreline, as reptiles may mistake them for their natural prey.

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