ORLANDO, Florida – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday that a body has been recovered in a retention pond where a 15-year-old boy was believed to have been attacked by an alligator on Wednesday.
However, the Sheriff’s Office later identified the body as a female in her late teens or early twenties who did not suffer injuries consistent with an alligator attack.
Yesterday, a witness called 911 operators to report a teen swimming in the retention pond who yelled, “It bit me!” while struggling to remain above the surface of the water. The teen then went below the water never to be seen again by the eyewitness.
Alligators are opportunistic predators with an indiscriminate appetite that includes fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and even fruit.
Alligators often consume food that can not be eaten in one bite by first drowning its prey and dragging it to the bottom to allow it to rot.
Since 1948, Florida has averaged about five unprovoked bites per year. During that period, a little more than 300 unprovoked alligator bites to people have been documented in Florida, with 22 resulting in deaths.
“We received a report of a missing 15-year-old boy near Salem Dr and Marietta St in Orlando. We, along with partner agencies including @OCFireRescue and @OrangeCoSheriff are on scene and actively searching a water body. Updates will be provided as info becomes available,” FWC tweeted.