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Body found surrounded by gators removed from canal

Gators likely 'nibbled' on body at some point, police say

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. – A body found in a Southwest Ranches canal surrounded by alligators has been removed and transferred to the medical examiner's office.

Davie police said two fishermen came across the remains Monday evening in the water along U.S. Highway 27 between Sheridan Street and Stirling Road. By the time officers arrived, a group of alligators had gathered nearby. 

"We found human remains," Davie police Sgt. Pablo Castaneda said. "We don't know how long it's been here, but it seems like they've been here for awhile."

Police said Tuesday that the victim is a man and that he most likely died before the gators "nibbled" on the body.

"Could it be a homicide? Could it be a suicide? Could it have been natural...? We don't know," Castaneda said.

Officers armed with rifles were positioned near the canal bank in case the gators returned and posed a threat to divers working to remove the body.

Police are treating the investigation as a homicide until evidence suggests otherwise.