Often times, the state of Florida seems like it exists in a world of its own. Between the odd adventures of Florida Man and the local wildlife, things can get really weird really fast. Granted, strange things happen all over the country, but it just seems like the most bizarre combination of factors come to a head in Florida. Take for example this latest case involving a man, a disc golf course, and an alligator.
An unidentified man was found deceased in a lake at the John S. Taylor Park. Though no one has come forward to say they witnessed the attack, a strong theory has been proposed which could explain how the man died. What was initially suspected as a drowning incident shifted into something more violent- yet still accidental- once his injuries were examined.
Largo police and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee believe the man was attacked by an alligator, especially considering one was found nearby when the body was recovered. As with many bodies of water in Florida, alligators will take up residence in them; something that prompted the park to put up signs telling people not to go into the water. That being the case, why did the man proceed to enter?
The prevailing theory has to do with the park’s disc golf course. Disc golf, otherwise known as Frisbee golf. Frisbee is actually a brand name for a flying disc created by Wham-O. So unless it’s officially endorsed by Wham-O, the generic name of disc golf has to be used by a business instead. It is a game/sport where players basically play golf, but throw discs towards a target instead of hitting a ball with a club. Just like how an errant swing can cause a ball to go off course and into the water, the same can happen with a flying disc.
Frequent player at the course, Ken Hostnick, noted what could have happened in a recent interview. Though Hostnick didn’t know the deceased individual, he did say financially struggling individuals will sometimes try to pull flying discs out of the lake. Depending on the condition of the discs, they can be resold for anywhere from $5.00 to $10.00. And as people who have been through hard times know, even that little bit of cash can be a big deal.
As of the time of this writing, the suspected gator has not been caught, but locals are attempting to do so. There is a strange relationship between alligators, recreational sports, and humans down in Florida. But to make a long story shorter, just remember that alligators are very powerful creatures. Marvel at them, but give them space. And when a sign tells you not to go into the water, don’t go into the water.