When this photo of a huge alligator pulled from an irrigation ditch in Georgia went viral, many people wrote it off as a hoax. You can't blame them. But, it turns out that the photo is no hoax.
Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said they pulled the 13-foot, 700-pound alligator out of a ditch near Lake Blackshear last week.
Brent Howze, the wildlife biologist crouching behind the reptile in the photo, told the Cordele Dispatch, "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.”
Howze reported to the area where the gator was located after a local Sumter County resident spotted it in the ditch on Monday morning.
“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,” Howze told the newspaper.
Melissa Cummings, a spokeswoman for the Georgia DNR, told Fox News, "It’s a testament to Georgia’s alligator-management program that alligators can grow to this size."
After the gator was removed from the ditch, biologists noticed it appeared to have old gunshot wounds on its body and was determined to be in poor health, so it was ultimately euthanized.
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.