Alligator hunters in Mississippi captured and killed a massive alligator over the weekend that set a new size record in the state and has been branded “nightmare material” on social media.
Hunters from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks captured the giant reptile out of the Yazoo River on Saturday, measuring more than 14 feet in length and weighing a hefty 802.5 pounds.
The huge alligator was captured as part of an initiative to keep gator numbers down in Mississippi. Additionally, people are allowed to hunt the gators at specific times.
Gator hunters’ record-breaking 14 feet and 3 inches long reptile discovery had a 66-inch belly girth and a 46.5-inch thick tail bringing the total length to 66 inches, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
The alligator’s length surpasses the previous record of 14 feet and 766.5 pounds, set by a reptile captured in 2017. A Facebook post about the beast sparked widespread disbelief.
One woman wrote, “Nightmare material,” while another person added, “Good grief that’s a monster.”
Another man said: “Congratulations that’s a real dinosaur! Had to be amazing for sure.”
Another commented: “OMG… what a monster! You grow ’em big in Mississippi! Congratulations on your big catch.”
Hunters Tanner White, Don Woods, Will Thomas, and Joey Clark spent seven “mentally difficult” hours reeling in the gator before finally killing the “monster”.
Don told the Mirror: “We hooked him eight or nine times and he kept breaking off. 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.”
Don and his friends caught the massive alligator on August 26th, the second day of Mississippi’s public alligator hunting season, which runs until September 4, Daily Mail reported.
The state has been regulating hunting since 2005 to manage and conserve the alligator population, allowing them to breed, nest, and raise their offspring during summer.
To catch gators during the hunting season, people need one of only 920 special permits per season by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Conservation efforts have resulted in a stable gator population, allowing limited and regulated hunting.