Hunters in Mississippi have killed the longest alligator on the state's record, according to local wildlife officials. US media reported that the 14-foot, 3-inch (4.3 m) alligator weighed in at more than 800 lbs (364 kg).
The enormous reptile was found on the Yazoo River by four men who stumbled upon the creature while hunting.
Local wildlife authorities turned to social media to congratulate hunters Tanner White, Donald Woods, Will Thomas, and Joey Clark on their find. Photos shared depict the men measuring the alligator and positioning its massive head toward the camera.
Local wildlife authorities said that the alligator was a state record breaker in terms of length.
Mississippi has a 10-day hunting season for alligators. The season began last Friday and will end on Monday, September 4. The 2022 season had 776 alligators "harvested" according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website. They also note that 1581 alligators were caught, and released.
To hunt a predator
"We got on the water right at dark," Woods told the Clarion Ledger, "We were seeing a lot of alligators."
This wasn't their first alligator hunt, the men knew what they were doing, with Woods saying "We've killed a lot of 12-footers."
At around 9 p.m., the trio spotted it. The next seven hours were a battle against one of nature's oldest and deadliest creatures, and that's before its size is taken into account.
"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." Woods told the Clarion Ledger.
It was only in the morning did they realize the size and scale of the monster they had just defeated, at 14 feet 3 inches it beat out the previous 2017 state record by over 2 inches.