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30th Aug 2023

Huge alligator weighing 57 stone sets record and leaves hunters ‘mentally exhausted’

Steve Hopkins

‘Good grief that’s a monster’

An alligator weighing over 350kgs has been caught, setting a new state record in Mississippi.

A group of hunters came across the huge predator on the Yazoo River on 26 August, and after what must have been an epic fight, they managed to pull the reptile on board.

When they got it back on dry land the men learned that they’d set a new state record.

The gator measured 14ft 3ins long and weighed 802.5lbs (57.3 stone or 363kgs).

They beat the previous record for the biggest reptile, which stood for six years, by 40lbs (2.8st).

According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the alligator’s belly girth alone measured 66ins while its tail was 46.5ins thick.

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Mississippi Department of Wildlife shared a picture of the crazy catch on its Facebook page and congratulated the group, writing: “A new state record for the longest alligator harvested was broken today!

“Congratulations to these Mississippi hunters! Tanner White – Flora, Don Woods – Oxford, Will Thomas – Madison, not pictured: Joey Clark – Jackson. “They harvested this male alligator in the West Central Alligator Hunting Zone. He measured 14 feet and 3 inches long, with a belly girth of 66 inches and tail girth of 46.5 inches. He weighed 802.5 lbs!”

“Good grief that’s a monster,” one person wrote under the post, while another added: “OMG… what a monster! You grow ’em big in Mississippi! Congratulations on your big catch.”

Speaking to the Mirror, Woods said it wasn’t easy to drag the gator out of the water.

“We hooked him eight or nine times and he kept breaking off,” he said.

“He would go down, sit and then take off. He kept going under logs. He knew what he was doing. The crazy thing is he stayed in that same spot.”

For the past 18 years, laws in the state have allowed alligators to be hunted at certain times as part of an ongoing effort to keep the population at a stable level.

Woods and his team caught their record-breaker on the second day of the season, which now runs until next week.

In order to be allowed to hunt the reptiles during this period, people must have a special permit, of which there are only 920.