Wednesday, 20 August 2014 | MYT 6:40 PM

What’s for dinner? This 458kg alligator!

Check out this whopper of an alligator, weighing more than 458kg, caught during a legal hunt in Alabama.

The alligator, caught with a snare hook in a southern Alabama state park on Aug 16, was so heavy it required a backhoe to hoist it onto a scale, said Mike Sievering on Aug 18, a state wildlife biologist who supervised the hunt. “He was an eyeful, I’ll say that.”

The alligator, which weighed 458.8kg and measured 4.57m long, is confirmed as the largest ever caught in the state, said Sievering. It was more than 45kg heavier than the previous state record holder, he said.

Hunters with their prize catch: (Above, from left) John and Amanda Stokes, daughter Savannah, brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins, and son Parker, pose with the American alligator they caught measuring 15ft long and weighing 1,011.5lbs, hauled in from the waters near Millers Ferry, Alabama. Below, the extended version of the same photo, showing the full length of the alligator. – Reuters

Alabama began allowing alligator hunts in 2011, responding in part to the reptiles showing up unbidden in fish farm ponds. In Sievering’s three-county area, up to 50 alligators are legally hunted over two weekends each summer by hook and line and underwater bow and arrow.

The American alligator was listed as endangered by the United States in 1967 after its ranks were diminished by habitat loss and excessive hunting. But the species was removed from the list 20 years later and now numbers more than a million in the southeastern US, according to the National Parks Conservation Association. – Reuters

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