Alligator Kills Florida Man Looking for Frisbee Along Water at Disc Golf Park

by Chris Haney

Recently, authorities in Florida found the dead body of a 47-year-old man who is believed to have been attacked by an alligator. According to reports, the man was on the hunt for lost Frisbees in the waters of a disc golf course in Largo, Florida.

An investigation into the man’s death pointed to the alligator attacking him while diving for discs. Similar to golfers losing their balls in the woods or water, disc golfers often lose their Frisbees in the same fashion. Some individuals frequent courses to search for lost discs to sell to secondhand sports shops.

“At this time, detectives believe the victim was looking for Frisbees in the water and a gator was involved. There are posted signs of no swimming in the lake,” a statement from local police read.

One man that’s played the course for years spoke with the Tampa Bay Times this week. Ken Hostnick explained that it’s commonplace in the area for people to look for discs to make an extra buck.

“These are people that are down on their luck,” Hostnick told the Tampa Bay Times. “Sometimes they dive in the lakes, they’ll pull out 40 discs. You may sell them for five bucks a piece, and you may sell them for 10 bucks a piece, depending on the quality.”

Authorities Euthanized Suspected Alligator and Will Perform a Necropsy

Following the discovery of the unidentified man’s body, alligator trappers hurried to Taylor Lake in John S. Taylor Park. A contracted trapper caught the suspected gator and euthanized the reptile. Officials are planning a necropsy to reveal if the specific alligator is the reason for the man’s death. Authorities are waiting to identify the 47-year-old male until after his family is notified.

“Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased,” Florida Fish and Wildlife said in a statement. Authorities are also asking locals to avoid Taylor Lake while their investigation continues.

Additionally, this isn’t the first time an alligator has attacked a visitor at the lake. In 2020, an alligator bit a man on his face who attempted to retrieve a disc from the water. Alligators are rarely responsible for fatal attacks on people. While gators inhabit almost every body of water in Florida, dying in an attack is still a rare occurrence.

The Florida wildlife commission shared that no one has died from an alligator attack in the last three years. You do hear about bites since the animals are so prevalent in Florida. As humans continue to encroach on their territory, encounters become more and more likely. If you’re in Florida and you spot any alligators, officials would ask that you move on and leave them alone. It’s best for both you and the animals.