Alligators in Florida are reported to have developed a taste for men in the state.
A study from the University of North Florida found 80 per cent of alligator bite victims in the state are male.
The study looked at bites dating back to 1971, and found the reptiles seemed to have preferred the taste of men for several decades.
Interestingly, nearly three-quarters of the alligators responsible for the attacks were also male.
The study, which is by far the biggest and most in-depth of its kind in America, was conducted by Adam Rosenblatt from the University of North Florida and published in The Journal of Wildlife Management.
The study reported:
Major injuries to victims occurred in 247 bite incidents.
The estimated annual number of bites resulting in major injury to the victim increased from 3.5 to 7.0 during 1971–2014.
The gender gap between those who fell victim to the alligator attacks was overwhelming, with males taking 81.4 per cent of all recorded bites in the state since 1971. Only 18.5 per cent of bite victims were women.
There were varied causes behind the bites, with one third of all the attacks taking place when people fed the gators, and 42 per cent occurring in residential waters like ponds in densely populated areas.
The Tampa Bay Times reported thirty of the bites came from people who came across gators on golf courses.
There has been a huge rise in alligator sightings in Florida recently. The reptiles tend to be busy in the middle of the year and their metabolisms speed up as the temperature increases, which in turn leads to them seeking out food in random locations, which could answer the increase in sightings.
Brian Norris of Florida Fish and Wildlife told Fox 4:
They have to find some food so that’s when we’ll find them on sidewalks and people’s pools. They’re really just out there browsing around.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission alligator mating season starts with courtship in early April, with mating typically taking place in May or June.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.