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Man killed in suspected gator attack at John S. Taylor Park in Largo identified

Man killed in suspected gator attack at John S. Taylor Park in Largo
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Posted at 11:45 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 13:20:22-04

LARGO, Fla. — A possible attack by an alligator is believed to have killed a man in Largo Tuesday morning, according to the Largo Police Department.

Largo PD said they believe the 47-year-old man, later identified as Sean Thomas McGuinness, was looking for frisbees in the water at John S. Taylor Park when the suspected gator attack occurred.

Police said a medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death but added that "it was apparent that McGuinness suffered injuries related to alligators in the lake."

Detectives believe it happened at night as McGuinness didn't appear to have been in the lake for a long period of time before his body was found on the shore by a person walking their dog around 8 a.m.

Police said, according to park management, McGuinness was known to frequent the park and enter the lake despite the posted "No Swimming" signs.

Authorities added that the park is equipped with a disc golf course and McGuinness was known to sell discs back to people within the park. Police said he was found within a few feet of a disc in the water.

Man killed in suspected gator attack in Largo | Action Air 1

RECOMMENDED: Alligator mating season is here — this is what you need to know

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) along with a trapper responded to Taylor Lake.

On Wednesday, FWC said, "Two alligators (10’ and 8’) were captured last night. Initial necropsies of the alligators revealed no evidence of their involvement with the deceased. Efforts are underway to monitor for additional alligators in the area."

Residents and visitors are being reminded that, as posted on the signs nearby, you should not go swimming or near the edge of the lake at any time.

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According to the FWC, Florida has not had a deadly gator attack since 2019.

Since FWC started tracking gator attacks in 1948, there have only been 26 deadly attacks in Florida. Over the last 10 years, the state has averaged eight unprovoked bites per year that are serious enough to require medical attention.

According to FWC, the likelihood of being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly one in 3.1 million.

In 2018, a 35-year-old man was bitten by an alligator while playing disc golf in Clearwater. In that incident, the man was trying to retrieve a disc from a pond at Cliff Stephens Park when he was bitten on the arm.

If you encounter an alligator that is believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property, call the FWC’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline, toll‐free at 1‐866‐FWC‐GATOR (392‐4286). The FWC’s Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers throughout the state to remove alligators 4 feet in length or greater that are believed to pose a threat.

Alligators are more active during their mating season, which lasts from April to June.

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