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ajgressette
05-16-2006, 04:47 AM
Florida on alert after alligators kill three women
By Jacqui Goddard in Miami for Times Online



Alligator hunters were out in force today after two more women were mauled to death in Florida, less than a week after an aspiring young model was dismembered in a canal.



The three killings in six days have caused alarm in Florida, where fatal alligator attacks had previously averaged only one in every three years since records began in 1948.

May is the peak of the alligator mating season and the tail-end of the dry season, making alligators more aggressive and meaning that ten times the usual number are living in ponds and canals outside their usual habitat. Experts say that human encroachment on alligator territory is also a factor.

In the latest incident Annmarie Campbell, a 23-year-old holidaymaker from Tennessee, was seized while snorkelling in a remote spring in the Ocala National Forest, 80 miles north of Orlando.

Friends found her dangling from the jaws of an alligator and leaped on the thrashing creature to try to wrestle her free.

"They gouged its eyes and pounded on its snout with their hands. They were trying to pry open its jaws," said Kat Kelley of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In a separate incident 140 miles away in Dunedin, the body of Judy Cooper, 43, was found mutilated in a pond.

"I saw what looked like a pair of trousers floating on the pond. Then I saw a pair of sneakers attached to it and my daughter went out there with a stick and pushed on it and it turned out to be a body," said local resident Fred Ferderber.

"Her arms were missing and she had a couple of bite marks on her sides."

Mr Ferderber, 50, said that he had often seen an 8ft-foot alligator sunbathing in the area behind his home in recent days. "When you got close to it, it would hiss at you. Most of the time, they’ll flee into the water - this one just sits there like it’s his spot."

Ms Cooper, a single mother from New Port Richey, Florida, had been struggling to overcome a crack cocaine addiction. Drug-taking equipment was found at the scene, though the local coroner confirmed that an alligator did play a role in her death. She leaves an 11-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old son.

The grisly killings came days after Yovy Suarez Jimenez, a 28-year-old student who hoped to become a model, was ambushed by an alligator while jogging alongside a canal in Sunrise, 30 miles north of Miami. Her arms were found in the belly of a 9ft 6in alligator that was later killed nearby.

Prior to the past week’s attacks, there had been only 17 confirmed and eight unconfirmed fatal alligator assaults on humans in Florida in the last 56 years. The number of "nuisance alligator" reports has risen steadily - there were 18,072 in 2004, latest figures show - as humans encroach more on alligator territory.

"Alligators are pretty much anywhere where there’s water in Florida and that’s where we’re building - around ponds and rivers and canals...this creates something of a dangerous situation," said Kent Vliet, an alligator expert at the University of Florida’s department of zoology.

"There are almost 16.5 million residents in Florida, more than 75 million visitors a year and one to two million alligators, so interactions are inevitable... But this level of fatalities is extraordinary."

sizzler
05-16-2006, 04:54 AM
i'll stick with nice cold rainy england thank you very much

sizzler
05-16-2006, 04:57 AM
was just reading the same report on sky news.....

how horrific :eek: not good for all involved....us and the gators

jsonova99
05-16-2006, 06:44 AM
I saw a little one on the golf course yesterday, about 3 feet long, he was sleeping by a water hazard about 20 feet from my ball. Didn't look like he was going to take any people down for another 10 years or so, maybe a poodle though. :D

We see them all the time kayaking and canoeing on the canals and creeks, but I have never seen one where we ski, although I can't believe that in a chain of 5 lakes in Florida that there isn't atleast one gator in there.

sizzler
05-16-2006, 07:39 AM
We see them all the time kayaking and canoeing on the canals and creeks, but I have never seen one where we ski, although I can't believe that in a chain of 5 lakes in Florida that there isn't atleast one gator in there.

DANG CLEVER GATORS

Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-16-2006, 09:20 AM
WOW, I guess there are some advantages to living in the frozen tundra. NO gators, NO snakes, NO lethal spiders, NO scorps, or any type of nasty critters like that here. NO Tornados, NO hurricanes, NO floods, There is just snow....and cold....we know its comming every fall, and we know it leaves every spring. Bummer to hear this though. :(

shepherd
05-16-2006, 10:20 AM
The guy I ski with says he saw an 8' gator in the lake behind his house a couple weeks ago... and the ski course is behind his house too :eek:

But, gators apparently only attack women so I should be ok.... yeah, that's it.... only women.... and children.... and dogs... :o

Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-16-2006, 11:02 AM
well, I suppose a guy could carry a pistol or shotgun in the boat just in case. maybe even ski with a pistol too...... :eek: Now THERE is an idea for a sport!! Shootin gators with pistols while ON a slalom ski!!! :woohoo:

powereli
05-16-2006, 12:18 PM
Me and my buddy J skied with the gators when we picked up a boat down in FL a few years ago.. was pretty spooked out by the whole deal... but we made it through.

jmyers
05-16-2006, 01:19 PM
I just have a problem skiing in water with animals that want to eat me!! The way we are going though we will have preditors in the delta, we had a whale come up and on Sunday we watched a sea lion swimming around, so sharks are next!

LakePirate
05-16-2006, 01:44 PM
Sharks Vs. Gators

I choose Gators

Don't worry it's not just you Florida guys

Apparently you guys are running them out and they have been spotted in ponds in the county below us.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-16-2006, 02:07 PM
Really lakey?? I guess I would be more prone to choosing sharks....dont ask me why I would feel more comfortable.

I have a definite fascination with sharks. I have a cousin that scuba dives and he went on a guided shark dive and sent me pictures, I was so jealous.

I talked about this with a friend. He agreed with me about dangerous thigns, one was that both of us would rather swim with sharks than bungee jump. Bungee jumping scares the he11 out of me. I really think I could go on one of those shark dives with no fear. ITs quite strange.

Rockman
05-16-2006, 02:10 PM
They make nice boots, purses and other clothing :D

oh, and they don't like getting hit with a PS190 with about 2000 pounds of water... :D

bradamerry
05-16-2006, 02:17 PM
We have gators here in North Louisiana as well. Lake I skied at as a kid had 4 that would sun themselves in the afternoon on the levee. Longest one was abot 12ft. Never had a problem with them, but it did make you stop sking hard around the levee.

LakePirate
05-16-2006, 02:41 PM
In a man on beast fight you actually stand a chance with the gator. If you can ever get their mouth closed, preferable not while attached to you, the mouth can be held shut with your hands. They may wrestle around a bit, but it can be done, you can also poke them in the eyes as the article suggests. I want to see you hold the sharks mouth shut.

jmyers
05-16-2006, 02:46 PM
In a man on beast fight you actually stand a chance with the gator. If you can ever get their mouth closed, preferable not while attached to you, the mouth can be held shut with your hands. They may wrestle around a bit, but it can be done, you can also poke them in the eyes as the article suggests. I want to see you hold the sharks mouth shut.
Just hit them with your ski! :D

jsonova99
05-16-2006, 02:50 PM
I'll take my chances with a gator over a shark anyday. Did anybody see the story a few months back with the kid in Australia being pulled behind a boat on a surf board? While he was riding I guess nobody saw that there was an 18' great white following. I don't know if he fell or it grabbed him, but it ate him right there while everybody on the boat could do nothing but watch. I'll see if I can find the story.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-16-2006, 02:56 PM
In a man on beast fight you actually stand a chance with the gator. If you can ever get their mouth closed, preferable not while attached to you, the mouth can be held shut with your hands. They may wrestle around a bit, but it can be done, you can also poke them in the eyes as the article suggests. I want to see you hold the sharks mouth shut.
I aint saying I was right about it Lakey :) I just have a fascination with sharks, a couriosity or even a infatuation. They just are so graceful and beautiful. I know they are deadly, but I think they get a bad rap cuz of JAWS and the media. I know people who have been scuba diving around them and they say its an amazing expereince. Keep in mind, they are not captive, they are in teh open sea. I am really intrigued with them. I agree I may be dumb and would BE safer in the prescence of a gator, but for some reason I think I would FEEL safer near a shark. I never said I was smart boys :uglyhamme

Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-16-2006, 02:57 PM
I'll take my chances with a gator over a shark anyday. Did anybody see the story a few months back with the kid in Australia being pulled behind a boat on a surf board? While he was riding I guess nobody saw that there was an 18' great white following. I don't know if he fell or it grabbed him, but it ate him right there while everybody on the boat could do nothing but watch. I'll see if I can find the story.
WOW, thats pretty scary!!! :(

jsonova99
05-16-2006, 02:57 PM
They had shark dives in Hawaii, I really wanted to try it, but the rest of the group wanted no part of it.

jmyers
05-16-2006, 02:59 PM
They are wonderfull creature's, I just don't want to ski with them! They have their place and I have mine!! I have enough to worry about just skiing, not to worry about being eaten while I'm skiing! :D

Upper Michigan Prostar190
05-16-2006, 03:05 PM
They are wonderfull creature's, I just don't want to ski with them! They have their place and I have mine!! I have enough to worry about just skiing, not to worry about being eaten while I'm skiing! :D
Oh come one now, where is your spirit of adventure!!!! :popcorn: We need to step our sport up a notch. Everyone sales Wakeboarding and foiling has more "thrill".....we lets take it up a notch, slaloming in a lake with hungry sharks......look is that the #6 bouy? or a dorsal fin :eek:

shepherd
05-16-2006, 03:08 PM
I'll take my chances with a gator over a shark anyday. Did anybody see the story a few months back with the kid in Australia being pulled behind a boat on a surf board? While he was riding I guess nobody saw that there was an 18' great white following. I don't know if he fell or it grabbed him, but it ate him right there while everybody on the boat could do nothing but watch. I'll see if I can find the story.

I think I saw that movie... :rolleyes: Wasn't it Jaws II?

jmyers
05-16-2006, 03:09 PM
Oh come one now, where is your spirit of adventure!!!! :popcorn: We need to step our sport up a notch. Everyone sales Wakeboarding and foiling has more "thrill".....we lets take it up a notch, slaloming in a lake with hungry sharks......look is that the #6 bouy? or a dorsal fin :eek:
I guess it would improve your skiing! Getting up before you hit the water, ski fast ski hard, and DON'T fall! :headbang: