Police snipers kept watch for gators
On May 27 police divers and snipers worked together, searching a pond after a minivan crashed into it after running off the road at a Miami-Dade turnpike. The pond was known to contain alligators and so while the divers searched for the vehicle underwater in the hope of rescuing survivors of the incident, snipers watched through their rifle-scopes in case gators took an interest.
The elderly occupants of the vehicle were rescued from the minivan but one has tragically died since.
While alligators tend to only bother with humans when they get too close, there was a real sense that those in the vehicle, and the police officers who came to their aid could have been in real danger from the reptiles. Police snipers were on hand just in case one of the gators came too close.
Police investigators are now working to determine what caused the crash.
Another close encounter with gators
Gator encounters are common in Florida, and not just when humans stray into the alligators' terrain. Earlier this month, residents of a Charlotte County home were disturbed by the sound of someone or something tearing through the screen of their porch recently.
When they investigated the disturbance, they were confronted by the scene of an 11-foot, 550-pound gator taking a dip in their pool.
The police came to the rescue once again. Charlotte County Sheriff's Office were called to assist, and shared pictures of the giant reptile on their Facebook page in a post that has since gone viral.
Maintain a safe distance
In the case of the vehicle leaving the road and crashing into a pond, the encounter with gators was unavoidable. But while gators may look ferocious, attacks on humans are rare, even in Florida where the reptiles are widespread.
A 2005 study reported just 376 alligator attacks since 1948. However, it has been observed that gator attacks are on the increase from around 6 per year in 1971 to around 10 per year between 1987 and 2017.
The advice then is where possible, keep your distance and you'll likely remain safe.
Have you had a close encounter with one of Florida's gators? Let me know in the comments section below.