A 741-pound reptile is big, and that’s what a team of alligator hunters found in Mississippi, which set a new state record. Jimmy Greer, John Ratcliff and Jennifer Ratcliff caught the giant animal out of the backwaters of the Mississippi River.
“It was around midnight when we initially saw this one,” Turner told the Clarion-Ledger. “We passed it by the first time. We really didn’t think it was big enough to go after.”
It’s not just the heaviest alligator, the animal also qualified as the longest alligator in Mississippi history, topping out at 13 feet and 6.5 inches.
However, they then realized that the alligator could give the current record-holding reptile – a 727-pound alligator found just a week before – a run for its money, and fished the animal out using an excavator.
“He broke three lines, and I had the only hook that stayed in him the whole time,” Turner continued, expounding upon the difficulties he and his team experienced while trying to wrangle the gator out of the water.
“Even with these two guys, it was very hard, and we were worn out,” Ratcliff stated. “If it wouldn’t have been for those two guys, we would have never gotten him in the boat.”
The group said it took about 30 minutes total to extract the reptile from the river and drag it into the boat.
The week before, Beth Trammell of Madison caught a 723-pound alligator that set the record for heaviest gator – that is, until Turner and his team got a hold of the 741-pounder.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ Alligator Program coordinator confirmed the gators’ weight to ABC Local.