Enormous 80-Year-Old Alligator Shot Dead by Hunter in Florida After Mystery Disappearances

A huge alligator estimated to be 80 years old has been killed by a hunter in south Florida.

The alligator had been linked with the mystery disappearance of livestock in Okeechobee County, leading professional hunter Doug Borries to intervene.

The Mississippi man said he shot and killed the animal on private property near Okeechobee.

"I had no idea the magnitude of how big his body was until we pulled him completely out of the lake," Borries told McClatchy News. "It had been suspected of eating some of the local livestock around the lake and was considered a threat."

A channel affiliated with Borries called Dynamic Outdoors TV said in a Facebook post that the animal was thought to be the largest ever alligator killed by a non-resident hunter in Florida.

The post said that the animal weighed 905 pounds and measured 13 feet and four inches.

Images accompanying the post showed Borries in various poses with the alligator, highlighting its enormous size and large jaws.

Alligators are found in all of Florida's 67 counties. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) estimated there are approximately 1.3 million of the animals living in the state.

Alligator hunting is legal in Florida under a number of regulations. Conservation of the animals at the state level is combined with a statewide recreational alligator harvest that was launched by the FWC in 1988. Harvest permits that allow the animals to be killed can be obtained from the state under strict guidelines. Hatchlings and endangered species, for example, are off limits.

Adult alligators typically grow between six and 12 feet long and can weigh in excess of 1,000 pounds, making the individual killed by Borries among the largest specimens found in the state recently.

FWC said that the Florida state record for a found alligator was 14 feet 3.5 inches in Lake Washington in Brevard County. The heaviest animal recorded in the state was found in Orange Lake, Alachua County. It weighed 1,043 pounds.

Borries said he had staked the 13-foot alligator out the night before while at the property where he made the kill.

The Dynamic Outdoors TV Facebook post said that the Mississippi man had shot the animal from a distance of 321 yards. It said that the alligator was believed to be over 80 years old.

Replying to comments, Dynamic Outdoors TV said the alligator had become a "safety hazard" for the elderly farmer and his family as the reptile had been "feasting on livestock."

Stock image of alligator
A stock image of an alligator. Doug Berries said the animal he shot was over 13 feet long and weighed 905 pounds. The Florida record for the heaviest alligator recorded in the state was over 1,000 pounds. williamhc/Getty Images