Alligator no longer living in water hazard

Feb. 15, 2007 at 3:49 PM
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NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- An alligator living in a water hazard on a Florida golf course was sent to the slaughterhouse after he attacked a man looking for lost golf balls.

Vernon Messier of Lutz, Fla., was cut and mangled by the gator when he tried to retrieve balls from the pond at the Timber Greens Country Club, the St. Petersburg Times reported. Messier makes his living by selling lost balls gathered at golf courses.

Messier was able to drive to a Tampa hospital, where he was listed in good condition, the newspaper said.

The alligator on the fifth hole was known to at least some of the players at Timber Greens in New Port Richey. Some players had adopted a rule allowing anyone whose shot ended too near the pond to play the next one at a safe distance, the Times reported.

But the club decided the gator had to go. A professional alligator catcher used a cow lung to lure the animal out of the pond the Times said.

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