A group of friends caught more than they bargained for at the start of Alabama’s alligator hunting season.
Taylor Douglas and his friends captured the alligator weighing over 500 pounds around 2 a.m. Aug. 13 while taking part in Alabama’s two-weekend-long alligator season, which happens every year.
In total, the male alligator weighed 524 pounds and measured 12 feet, 9 inches, Marianne Gauldin with the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division confirmed to local news station WKRG in Mobile. Gauldin told the station it was the largest alligator of the season, so far.
The alligator was caught south of Interstate 10 in Mobile Bay, in southern Alabama in the coastal zone. It took roughly an hour to bring the male alligator ashore, from the time he was initially hooked until he was brought into the boat.
Douglas said he was surprised to have caught an alligator that large.
“We knew we were on a big one but no one knew exactly how big he was until he first surfaced out of the water,” Douglas said. “Then everyone quickly realized the situation and it was all hands on deck.”
Male American alligators are roughly 11 feet long on average, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. The heaviest male alligator can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds.
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