I’m sure there’s a few people out there who know all about working the camera to make things look bigger, but as unbelievable as this picture might be, the 13-foot beast shown is very real indeed.
Conservationists were made aware of the massive alligator after a local person saw it stuck in an irrigation ditch near Lake Blackshear in Georgia, US this week. I wouldn’t blame them for thinking they’d stumbled upon a really resilient dinosaur.
Brent Howze, a wildlife biologist working for the Department of Natural Resources, went to the scene to help free the gator.
According to Cordele Dispatch, Howze admitted he expected to find a creature no more than 10 or 11 feet long, explaining:
It took a while to get it out of that ditch. It was bigger than we originally anticipated and we had to use heavy equipment to move it.
Once the alligator was out of the ditch, Howze posed for a picture with the animal – though understandably he kept his distance.
He measured the reptile at 13 feet and 4 inches long, with a chest girth of 57 inches, and weighing approximately 700 pounds (50 stone).
The image was shared online, but people were so shocked by the size of the beast, they refused to believe it was real.
One doubtful person wrote:
The dude is further back from the reptile making appear a lot larger than it really is.
While another commented:
Wonder if he could be any further away from that gator, to make it look huge.
However, Howze confirmed the picture wasn’t a hoax, explaining:
Apparently a lot of people think it’s fake, but I can assure you that it is not. I’m the one in the picture, and you can probably tell that I didn’t get too close to it.
Sadly, once the conservationists got a better look at the alligator they realised it was in poor health, and that the best thing to do would be to put the animal down.
The wildlife biologist continued:
It was a very old alligator in poor body condition with what appeared to be gunshot wounds. It’s an unfortunate situation, but the best thing for the animal was to be put it down.
He also assured locals they shouldn’t be worried about alligators when swimming or playing in the water at Lake Blackshear.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.