What to Know
- Assistant town administrator Phillip Holste confirmed the city will be placing the signs at all town parks and open spaces
- The signs will warn of such hazards as alligators, snakes and more to go along with a public information campaign.
In the wake of a woman’s death after being attacked by an alligator in a Davie lake, officials will be placing signs around all public bodies of water in the city warning of the potential danger.
Assistant town administrator Phillip Holste, in an email to NBC 6, confirmed the city will be placing the signs at all town parks and open space sites with a body of water or near a canal.
The signs will warn of such hazards as alligators, snakes and more to go along with a public information campaign designed to remind residents and visitors to stay safe.
Search teams located the body of Shizuka Matsuki on Friday night at the Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park lake after she had been reported missing since earlier in the day.
FWC officials said human body parts were found in the stomach of the 12-foot alligator, which was captured at the South Florida pond where it attacked the woman, officials said.
A witness told authorities he saw Matsuki walking two dogs near the pond Friday morning and then noticed the dogs barking near the water, but he did not see the woman again, said Davie Police Detective Viviana Gallinal.
The park will remain closed until the signs have been placed up.
Alligators and humans frequently cross paths in Florida, as people increasingly seek waterfront homes and recreation.
The large reptiles can be found in fresh and brackish bodies of water — including lakes, rivers, canals and golf course ponds — and there is roughly 6.7 million acres of suitable habitat statewide. They are particularly active during their mating season in May and June.
Alligators are opportunistic feeders that will eat what is readily available and easily overpowered. Feeding wild alligators is illegal because they could lose their fear of humans.
Fatal attacks on humans remain rare, however. According to the wildlife commission, the likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly only one in 3.2 million.
From 1948 to 2017, the commission has documented 401 people bitten by alligators, including 24 fatalities. The most recent death occurred in 2016, when a 2-year-old boy playing near the water's edge at a Walt Disney World resort was killed.