'I felt fear like never before': Alligator hunters catch 400-kilo, 4-metre long 'monster' in bid to keep people safe

1 September 2023, 20:13

The alligator hunters wrestled with their quarry for 4 hours
The alligator hunters wrestled with their quarry for 4 hours. Picture: Facebook

By Kit Heren

Alligator hunters have caught and killed a "monster" weighing more than 400 kilograms and measuring over 4 metres long.

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The 417-kilo alligator is the second-heaviest ever caught in the US state of Florida, behind only a 454-kilo giant.

The alligator hunters came across the beast in a lake near the major city of Orlando, and knew they had to catch it to keep local residents safe.

Alligator hunting is legal in Florida and several other south-eastern US states, with a licence. Alligators have killed several people in Florida in recent years.

Kevin Grotz, a charter boat captain who led the efforts, said: "I had fear like I never felt before."

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The alligator hunters
The alligator hunters. Picture: Facebook

He added that he had never "experienced anything like this" in his 20 years on the water.

"Ultimately, if a beast of that size gets a hold of you or, God forbid, a child, the odds are tough," he told local TV station WESH-2.

Grotz and his team knew they had to "be smart" and play it safe, he said.

They pursued the behemoth before lashing it to the side of the boat, wrestling with it for four hours.

The alligator hunters with their quarry
The alligator hunters with their quarry. Picture: Facebook

“Honestly, my first concern was safety because we were in a smaller boat,” Grotz said. “And then you add a gator whose head is this big. All he has to do is turn, and we’re in trouble.”

“When we saw this gator, it was way bigger than anything we’ve ever caught before,” said his fellow hunter Darren Field.

He compared the alligator to a "giant dinosaur."