(OKEECHOBEE, Fla.) — A massive alligator that hunters estimate was just shy of 15 feet was found recently in Florida and officials are trying to determine just how large it was.
Lee Lightsey, owner of Outwest Farms in Okeechobee, and hunting guide, Blake Godwin, wrote on Facebook it’s the largest they’ve ever found.
They did not immediately return calls for comment.
The duo spotted the huge gator on April 2 in one of their cattle ponds, and believe the reptile is to blame for their disappearing cattle, according to local reports.
Tony Young, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, confirmed to ABC News that the jaw-dropping gator is real.
“All we know is a large alligator was killed,” Young said. “We haven’t determined if it was killed in the wild or if it was a farm-raised alligator that was in this guy’s pond.”
Where the alligator was found is important because Young said only alligators found in the wild are entered into state records.
The FWC notes that the largest alligator ever found in the wild in Florida measured at 14 feet, 3.5 inches long.
Young added that hunters are seldom accurate in their own measurements.
“The official way is to have an alligator on its stomach and have someone pulling on its nose a little bit and pulling on its tail to get it real straight,” Young said. Chalk is then used to mark both ends of the animal.
Young said official information will likely be available on Wednesday.
“I think it’s a big gator nonetheless,” Young said.
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