Reinforcements and specialist personnel were required at the scene of a gruesome feast on Monday (30 May), as south Florida police attempted to retrieve a man's body being devoured by two alligators.
Law enforcement was alerted to the scene after two fishermen reported seeing a body being eaten in a canal in the town of Southwest Ranches, Broward County, in the Everglades.
Police said the body appeared to have been in the water for some time when it was discovered, the Sun Sentinel reported. Authorities added the cause of death was not immediately known.
The operation to rescue the body began after police officers from Davie Police Department failed to scare off the hungry alligators and a unit armed with AR-15 rifles arrived at the scene to shoot the patrolling alligators who did not want to give up their kill. A trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was also present as the body was recovered at around 10 pm.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission admitted that little is known about the body. A Postmortem by the Broward Medical examiner will attempt to determine the cause of death. It is, as of yet, unclear whether the aligators killed the man or were just scavenging.
"We want to identify who the victim is and possibly figure out what happened to them and how did they end up here," said Sgt. Pablo Castaneda, of the Davie Police was quoted as saying by the Sentinel. "Could it be homicide? Could it be suicide? Could it have involved a fisherman? We don't know."