Weeki Wachee’s nuisance mermaid to be destroyed after latest aggressive incident


By Frank Fencil | frank.fencil@springhillcourier.com

WEEKI WACHEE, Florida — Florida Fish and Wildlife officials announced plans this morning to euthanize the mermaid who bit two children last week.

Though the mermaid was captured further upstream and tested negative for any viruses that could be communicable to humans, it was decided she was too much of a threat and must be destroyed.

“It’s terribly tragic because there are only a few viable breeding mermaid pairs left in the wild,” FFW deputy commissioner Brian Wretzler said. “But we’re doing this for the safety of the community because once a biter, always a biter.”

The decision was made after thoroughly reviewing the mermaid’s case file, Wretzler said. The mermaid, named Astrid, has a history of aggressive behavior.

In 1998 as a mer-pup, she bit a trainer and degloved his hand, an injury so severe he is still receiving state disability benefits. Two years later, she escaped her pen and made it halfway up one of the slides before Buccaneer Bay lifeguards were only able to coax her down by throwing gallons of chum into the water below.

Prior to last week, the most recent incident came last August when she again escaped, tipped over an elderly couple canoeing and nearly launched herself into a pontoon boat full of school children.

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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