POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Photos released Monday show the massive alligator that had part of a man's body in its stomach after it was removed from a Florida pond.
Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the11-foot, 10-inch long reptile was removed from a pond off of Peeples Road in Fort Meade on June 27.
Polk County deputies said a Mosaic employee found the gator biting 45-year-old Michael Ford II of Wauchula.
"Yeah, one of my employees ... found a body floating in one of our hydraulic ditches with a gator ahold of it," a 911 caller said.
Although the gator had Ford's hand and foot in its stomach, it's believed that Ford drowned before the encounter with the alligator, according to a news release. His final cause of death is pending toxicology.
Friends and family of Ford said they had not heard from him since June 23. A truck that Ford had recently bought from a friend was found nearby.
Both FWC and the Polk County Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident.
"Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida. FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property," FWC officials said.
Anyone with concerns about an alligator can call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).