Four men near Pensacola, Florida, had the haul of a lifetime at the very start of alligator hunting season — twice.
Nick Naylor, John Booker, Kenny Way and Casey Shields made headlines as far abroad as the Daily Mail after they caught and killed an 11-foot-7, 375-pound alligator on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to the Pensacola News Journal. The process of catching and killing the animal took three hours, the foursome said.
Tuesday marked the first day of Florida’s alligator hunting season.
A post on Facebook by Cooper’s Taxidermy that showed the four men posing alongside the massive reptile has been shared more than two dozen times and generated hundreds of reactions from commenters.
But they weren’t finished.
On Thursday night, the group hauled in an even longer alligator, according to the Tampa Bay Times. This reptile, though it only took two hours to reel in, clocked in at 12 feet, six inches, according to a post on Booker’s Facebook page.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the record for longest alligator captured in Florida is 14 feet, 3 1/2 inches. The record for longest female is 10 feet, 6 inches. It is not clear whether the alligators the four men caught are male or female.
“All this attention over these gators has been pretty humbling and honestly a bit overwhelming,” Booker wrote on Facebook. “Thank y'all for all the congrats. It's been a hell of an opening week.”
By comparison, video of a massive alligator was posted online in January with the headline “Who says dinosaurs are extinct?” The woman who took the video estimated that the gator was 12 feet long.