By Ker Than
Two record-setting heavyweight alligators were killed by hunters in Mississippi this weekend, just three days into the start of the official gator hunting season.
One animal, a male, was 13-feet and 6.5-inches (4.13 meters) long and weighed 727 pounds (330 kilograms).
“When we finally got an arrow in him, it took us another two hours to get him up close to the boat,” Dustin Bockman, one of the hunters, told the Associated Press.
“He broke all the lines we could get in him. Finally we got a snare on him and pulled him up high enough and got a shot on him. All in all, it probably took us four-and-a-half hours to actually catch him from the first time we saw him.”
The other gator, caught by hunter Beth Trammell, was also a male and measured 13-feet and 5.5-inches (4.1-meters) long and weighed 723.5 pounds (328 kilograms). (See “Giant Crocodile Breaks Size Record.”)
Both alligators broke the previous weight record of 697.5 pounds (316 kilograms).
Once considered an endangered species, the American alligator population has bounced back in recent decades and was delisted in 1987.
We spoke to Greg Robbins, a senior animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo, to find out more about the species and whether it is normal for them to grow so large. More....