Monday, March 21, 2005

300 Pound Gator Eats Local Citizen

I made a mention in a recent blog about a suspicious pond drowning in the local news. Well our suspicions may rest in peace, along with the unfortunate man, now that we have learned what caused his death. Our unfortunate citizen was turned into an hors d'oeuvre by a local alligator. Seriously! The man was found floating in a pond in South Lakeland, not far from where I buy gas. The alligator in question was nine feet, eight inches long and weighed 300 pounds. That is a BIG alligator. Picture it reaching almost as high as a regulation basketball rim standing nose to tail. And 300 pounds is about the weight of your average offensive lineman. The gator was not brought in for questioning, and no one read him his Miranda rights. Although he was doing what gators normally do, thankfully they do not yet enjoy the full protections under the law that humans do. You might be wondering how they are sure this particular alligator was fingered? They found the man's arm in the gator's belly. See! I told you angry wildlife doesn't just swim away when disturbed. They sometimes lash out and eat you! (Page 39 of my book "Nobody Move!") Also I have a whole essay on Shark Prevention Tips. I really think having wildlife eat you is not a fun way to go and I'm doing my best to protect the public in that regard. Now it is true that most alligators are shy by nature, and will swim away unless you are a toddler, small dog or a fruitcake. But if they think they have a shot at doing lunch with you, then you are apparently in trouble. To add to the deceased's woes, THIS local gator was apparently being fed by the neighbors. A TOTALLY illegal act, and if they find out who did it, someone is going to have to pay a $500 fine. Still, it won't bring back the dead man, who was not even in the position to shake hands with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. Conventional alligator wisdom in Florida is that they can be in ANY naturally occurring body of water, no matter how small. Even the puddles in your driveway. Why, we have colonies of microscopic alligators all over the lawn, and...wait, those were the fire ants. Well if the fire ants were nine feet long and weighed 300 pounds I'm sure I'd be equally afraid of them. We know we have an alligator (maybe more than one) beyond our backyard in the pond that keeps growing ever larger. It used to co-exist back there with a small herd of cows that would graze while standing in ankle deep water. However I haven't seen the cows lately, so I am wondering if the gator developed a taste for roast beef au jus? You can now see why Australia's Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin should not have been holding his infant son while feeding a crocodile as a PR stunt for television cameras. The croc could easily have decided it preferred Steve's baby to dead fish or whatever he was offering. So my advice to those visiting Florida. Lakes, Rivers, Ponds and Oceans are for viewing and boating upon. Pools are for swimming. You violate this sensible rule at your limbs' risk. Better to be safe than turning up on the Alligator Menu as the Special of the Day.

9 Comments:

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