Hunters have killed an enormous 65-stone alligator that came close to beating a remarkable record.
The huge beast was slain by Kevin Brotz and two friends from his group Florida Gator Hunting, based in the US.
The whopping reptile measured 13 feet and three and a quarter inches and with its astonishing weight is the second-largest specimen captured in the state.
Brotz, who has been a licensed charter captain for almost 20 years, told NBC2: “I’ve lived here my whole life, and I think about gators, but I’ve never really experienced this.
“Honestly, my first concern was safety because we were in a smaller boat.
“And then you add a gator whose head is this big. All he has to do is turn, and we’re in trouble.
“So immediately, all we kept saying, all I kept saying was, ‘Guys, we have to be smart. We have to play this safe.’ And I couldn’t have been with better people.”
Another one of the men, Darren Field, said: “When we saw this gator, it was way bigger than anything we’ve ever caught before.
“It was a giant dinosaur. Not every day you get a giant dinosaur in your boat.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that largest ever caught in the state was 1,000 pounds.
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This article by Harry Thompson was first published by The Daily Star on 2 September 2023. Lead Image: The alligator is likely less thrilled about the near-record (Image: florida Gator Hunting).