This media outlet is investigating reports of a potentially record-setting alligator kill in South Carolina – one which reportedly took place within the last few days as the state’s alligator hunting season wound down.
According to a Facebook post forwarded to this media outlet, a 15-foot 6-inch gator was recently killed in Orangeburg County, S.C. – with its picture posted to the social media. Assuming the measurements cited in the post are accurate, the gator pictured would be a full two-feet longer than that largest alligator ever killed in the Palmetto State.
Take a look …
(Click to view)
According to AZ Animals, the current record for an alligator kill in the Palmetto State is 13 feet, 6 inches. That gator – a 1,025 pound beast – was killed by wild game hunter Maryellen Mara-Christian of Fitchburg, Massachusetts on Lake Moultrie on September 25, 2010. The animal was finally taken following a “two-hour struggle on a guided hunt,” according to the website.
South Carolina is home to an estimated 100,000 alligators, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The average male grows to a size of approximately 11 feet and weighs between 400 and 500 pounds.
Alligators are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain. Sometimes, humans become their prey. Since 2000, there have been six fatal alligator attacks in the Palmetto State. Three of those have taken place within the past three years.
State lawmakers approved a hunting season for alligators in 2008. It runs annually from September 12 to October 8. Last year, 1,031 permits were issued to 927 hunters, according to a SCDNR report (.pdf).
A total of 322 alligators were killed – up from 310 the previous year. Only six of those were thirteen feet or longer, according to SCDNR data. Of interest? That report referenced concerns over the potential “over harvest” of “larger” alligators.
“Future management decisions will consider sustainable harvest of all size classes to avoid over harvest,” the report noted.
Stay tuned for updates as we seek to verify details of the alleged kill …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
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