WEIRD NEWS
04/07/2016 12:21 pm ET

800-Pound, Cattle-Munching Gator Shot Dead

"It is not unusual for large, male alligators of this size to be harvested each year," a wildlife official said.

Talk about some good eatin'.

A monster alligator, said to weigh 800 pounds, was recently hauled out of Florida's marshes after being blamed for snacking on a landowner's cattle, and now this ravenous reptile, given to charity, will be a meal for some hungry humans. 

The huge beast was pulled Saturday from a pond at private hunting grounds near Okeechobee. Its head appeared to be the size of a small boy.

Blake Godwin, a hunting guide for Outwest Farms, which offers wild boar, alligator and turkey hunts, said they found the gator with the remains of some of their missing livestock.

"[The alligator] surfaced and he was coming our way," he told WPBF-TV. "Even doing this for 10 years, something like that will spook you."

A 9-year-old boy stands near an estimated 800-pound alligator that was killed over the weekend near Okeechobee, Florida.
Handout . / Reuters
A 9-year-old boy stands near an estimated 800-pound alligator that was killed over the weekend near Okeechobee, Florida.

Godwin said a well-placed shot from a hunter with a .30-caliber rifle killed the animal. When they pulled it out of the water, they used a tractor to hold it up.

Speaking to Fox 13 News, he said they plan to donate the meat to charity and will have its body preserved for display.

"It is hard to believe that something this big exists in the wild," he told the station. "Hunting is a way of life for us and we are very proud of it!"

Though the backyard beast is absolutely a sight, state wildlife officials believe it's smaller than their current record holder which measured 14-feet, 3 1/2-inches in length.

"It is not unusual for large, male alligators of this size to be harvested each year as part of Florida's Alligator Management Program," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Spokesman Tony Yong said in an email to the Huffington Post Wednesday.

"While the alligator has not been officially measured, the person holding the (hunting) permit, Lee Lightsey, has indicated to FWC that the alligator was not big enough to surpass the current record," he said.

HuffPost

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