The Tampa Bay Times reports:
A new study looking at Florida alligator bite reports dating back to 1971 concludes that gators mostly bite adult men who are not tourists. Adult men in this category make the mistake of getting too close — or even getting into — small, man-made bodies of water where the prehistoric lizards like to hang out, generally in the summertime.
“Major injuries to victims occurred in 247 bite incidents,” the study reported. “The estimated annual number of bites resulting in major injury to the victim increased from 3.5 to 7.0 during 1971–2014.” Twenty-two bites were fatal, the report noted.
Less surprising was that one third of the bites were connected to people feeding alligators, so that the gators began to associate people with food. For instance, in 2012, an Everglades airboat tour captain who lured gators close to his boat by feeding them marshmallows, discovered that gators tend to bite the hand that feeds them. He lost his.