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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 15, 2003 at 10:53:21:
FLORIDA TIMES-UNION (Jacksonville, Florida) 11 March 03 Body found near 10-foot alligator at Plant City mine
Plant City, Florida (AP): A body was found near a 10-foot alligator at a phosphate mine, but investigators aren't sure if the man is a victim of an alligator attack or was already dead.
A worker at the IMC mine called Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies Monday afternoon after spotting the body in a small lake.
The Hillsborough medical examiner will perform an autopsy on the body, which was retrieved by a sheriff's dive team. The autopsy had not yet been performed on Tuesday and the man has not been identified.
Gary Morse, spokesman Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said the sheriff's office will handle the case if foul play is suspected.
Because gator attacks are rare, Morse said, he wouldn't be surprised if the gator had attacked after the man's death.
"They are opportunistic," he said.
Authorities caught the alligator Monday evening and killed it. A necropsy would performed, likely next week, Morse said.
PALM BEACH POST (Florida) 11 March 03 Fatal alligator attacks in Florida
Sept. 11, 2001: Robert Steele, 82, killed while walking his terrier on Sanibel Island. A 10-foot, 9-inch gator attacked him near the J.M. 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
June 23, 2001: Alexandria Murphy, 2, dead after wandering from her back yard near Lake Cannon in Polk County. A 6-foot, 6-inch gator was found in the area.
May 4, 2001: Samuel Wetmore, 70, died in a pond near his Venice home when an 8-foot, 4-inch gator attacked.
March 21, 1997: Adam Binford, 3, killed playing with lily pads in Volusia County's Lake Ashby. Splashing dogs may have attracted the 11-foot alligator.
Oct. 3, 1993: Grace Eberhart, 70, died at Lake Serenity in Sumter County. The circumstances are unknown, but she died of a broken neck. Several alligators may have been involved.
June 19, 1993: Bradley Weidenhamer, 10, killed wading in the Loxahatchee River in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. He was attacked by an 11-foot, 4-inch gator.
Documented alligator attacks on humans in Florida