A farmer called the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) after finding a 13-feet 4-inches alligator in an irrigation ditch near a lake in Sumter County side of Lake Blackshear in Georgia on Monday.
WAFB-TV reported that they have estimated the alligator to be around 700 pounds.
After photo of DNR wildlife biologist Brent Howze with the massive gator circulated online, people were trying to figure out if it was edited or a hoax. But, both Howze and Georgia DNR confirmed reports that it is indeed, a true alligator.
“Apparently a lot of people think it’s fake, but I can assure you that it is not,” Howze told Cordele Dispatch. “I’m the one in the picture, and you can probably tell that I didn’t get too close to it.”
The reptile, which was estimated to be about 50 years old, was moved to land by the wildlife biologists. They noticed the alligator was in a very poor health with several old gunshot wounds that led the experts to euthanize the poor animal.
According to Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, male alligators can grow up to 16 feet in length, but 14- foot is very rare. Meanwhile, female gators can grow up to 10 feet.
“It’s a testament to Georgia’s alligator-management program that alligators can grow to this size,” Melissa Cummings, spokesperson of Georgia DNR, told First Coast News. “The only way these animals get this large is by avoiding humans.”
The largest alligator found and recorded in Georgia was 14-feet 1-inch long in 2015.