Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Gordon Gekko, May 17, 2006.
the gators were on your property millions of years before you were.
Gator snatches puppy after it scampers out door of business near West Palm
By Chrystian Tejedor
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
May 17, 2006
Michael Rochefort was working on the back door of his wood flooring business Tuesday afternoon when his dog, Malibu, ran outside toward a retention pond behind the shopping center.
"She shot right into the bushes. I heard a bark and the gator pulled her into the water and swam off," he said.
When the skinny, 6-foot alligator snatched the 4-month-old Maltese-Yorkshire terrier mix, Rochefort jumped into his pickup truck and drove to the other side of the lake behind the strip mall at Okeechobee Boulevard and U.S. 441 near West Palm Beach.
Rochefort wanted Malibu back. The gator just swam back to the opposite shore, avoiding the confrontation.
The attack on Malibu comes a day after state wildlife officials said they will extend Florida's annual gator hunt from five to 11 weeks in an effort to curb the reptiles' numbers.
In the past week, alligators have been responsible for the deaths of three people in Florida, officials said. Until then, there had been 17 alligator-related fatalities since 1948.
On May 9, an alligator grabbed Yovy Suarez Jimenez, a 28-year-old Florida Atlantic University student who was jogging in Sunrise's Markham Park when she stopped to rest near a canal.
On Sunday, an alligator attacked a Tennessee woman who was snorkeling in Juniper Run in the Ocala National Forest in Marion County. That day, Pinellas County authorities also found the dismembered body of a Dunedin woman in a canal near Tampa Bay.
In April, Coral Springs' Stephen Martinez, 43, escaped serious injury when a 7-foot alligator bit him on the left hand while he was looking for golf balls in a lake at the Lakes of Boynton Beach golf course.
While there were no witnesses to the three most recent alligator attacks involving humans, at least four people saw the alligator snatch Malibu on Tuesday. They kept an eye on the gator as state wildlife officers and a trapper made their way to the north side of the pond about 5:45 p.m.
Using a recording of alligator hatchlings found on the Internet, trapper Greg Butcher swung an unbaited hook and reeled in the gator.
After that one was caught, Butcher and the officers spotted two more alligators in the lake. Butcher tried to catch the alligators, but they proved elusive even with the recording of the hatchlings blaring in the background.
"It lures the gator," Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Dani Moschella said. "The one in the truck's going crazy."
Authorities will perform a necropsy on the alligator that was caught to see if it ate Malibu, but Butcher didn't think it had the time to eat.
"Three of four people said this was the one," said FWCC Officer Scott Prasse, who watched the alligator after witnesses pointed him out. "I would definitely say he's the one."
Rochefort and his wife, meanwhile, want the owners of the shopping center to put up a wall between the businesses and the pond.
"We were talking about it because I lay out here and get some sun," said Rochefort's wife, Yvette.
"I just thank God it wasn't one of my kids," Michael Rochefort said.
Chrystian Tejedor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-243-6645.
Copyright Â© 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The difference now is it wants to eat your cutesy little pookie - or maybe even grammy airing out on the porch.
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