Horrifying footage shows bloated 14ft alligator that dragged homeless mother into canal and ate her

14 June 2024, 08:27

Sabrina Peckham was eaten by the alligator
Sabrina Peckham was eaten by the alligator. Picture: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission/Facebook

By Kit Heren

Horrifying footage shows a bloated 14ft alligator that had eaten a homeless mother in Florida.

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Sabrina Peckham, 41, was found in the jaws of the alligator in the Florida city of Largo in September last year.

Police have now released footage of the moment they caught the predator. Officers taped its mouth shut and hauled it from the water using ropes and chains before shooting it "humanely".

Bystanders said the alligator put up a good fight before it was killed.

Bystander Jamarcus Bullard said: "They put a rope around its neck and put it on a pulley of a truck. They were reeling it in, but it started to pull the truck into the water.

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"They got this long stick thing, pulled the head out of the water, then they shot it and once they reeled it all the way out.

"They stretched it out and measured it... and they shot it again."

The emergency service workers then cut open the side of its torso to remove Ms Peckham's remains.

Read more: 'I felt fear like never before': Alligator hunters catch 400-kilo, 4-metre long 'monster' in bid to keep people safe

Read more: Terrifying moment woman, 85, is dragged to her death by an alligator as she tried to rescue her dog

The alligator
The alligator. Picture: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Ms Peckham had been staying in a homeless encampment close to the canal where she was killed.

Mr Bullard raised the alarm after he saw that the alligator had attacked and partially eaten someone.

He said: "I noticed it had a body in its mouth, like a lower torso, so once I saw that, I ran straight to the fire department and got them, they confirmed it was a body.

He added: "I threw a rock at the gator, just to see if it was like really a gator. It pulled the body, like it was holding on to the lower part of the torso, and just pulled it under the water."

Sabrina Peckham was killed by the alligator on Friday
Sabrina Peckham was killed by the alligator on Friday. Picture: Facebook

Ms Peckham had been fined for trespassing in the wetlands only half a mile from where she was killed.

She was given the $500 (£408) fine on July 14, according to court records.

After "the sudden, tragic loss, her daughter Breauna Dorris launched a fundraiser for the funeral.

"Sabrina lost her life suddenly after being attacked by a 13 foot alligator," she said. "Sabrina was loved by many and we expected many many more years with her.

The stream where the alligator is thought to have killed Ms Peckham
The stream where the alligator is thought to have killed Ms Peckham. Picture: Alamy

"Our family is in shambles trying to cope with this kind of loss. Sabrina only being 41 and homeless at the time had no funeral or death arrangements set up."

Police at the scene
Police at the scene. Picture: Alamy

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