Airboat looking for alligator in Louisiana. Credit: CBS

504-pound gator suspected of killing man in Louisiana floodwaters is captured

A 12-foot-long alligator believed to have attacked a Louisiana man in Hurricane Ida floodwaters two weeks ago was captured and killed Monday, and authorities found human remains in its stomach.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said the parish coroner’s office was working with investigators to determine if the remains were those of Timothy Satterlee, 71, who has been missing since the Aug. 30 attack. The sheriff’s office said the gator captured on Monday weighed “a startling 504 pounds.”

Ida had caused widespread flooding and knocked out electricity and phone service in parts of south Louisiana when it came ashore Aug. 29. Satterlee was attacked outside his home, which was surrounded by floodwaters, in the New Orleans suburb of Slidell on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Authorities said Satterlee’s wife heard a splash and walked outside their home to see the alligator attacking her husband. She managed to pull her severely injured husband to the steps of their home.

She used a small boat to reach higher ground to get help. But, when she and deputies returned to the house, Satterlee was gone.

Sheriff’s deputies were joined by federal and state wildlife agents in the search for the alligator. A trap set by alligator hunters captured the animal Monday morning.

St. Tammany Sheriff Randy Smith said multiple agencies — including Fisheries and Wildlife agents, Louisiana search and rescue agents with their cadaver dogs, and the licensed hunters — assisted with the search and capture of the alligator.

“This is a horrible tragedy and my sincere condolences and sympathy goes to the Satterlee family,” Smith said. “I know todays findings does not bring their loved one back, but hopefully this can bring them some sort of closure. I am very proud of the hard, non-stop work, of my deputies and the other agencies who assisted, and I hope their persistence in finding this alligator will help the family with coping with their loss.”

Author: CBS News Staff
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