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Hunters have killed the longest alligator ever found in Mississippi – more than 4.3m (14ft 3in) and weighing 364kg (57 stone).
The local wildlife department said the male was “harvested” on the Yazoo River and that its length was a state record.
It congratulated the four men who hunted the animal, Tanner White, Don Woods, Will Thomas and Joey Clark.
Pictures on Facebook show them measuring the alligator with the animal’s huge head turned towards to the camera.
Mr Woods said the battle to capture and kill the alligator began at 9pm and lasted seven hours through the night, resulting in multiple broken fishing lines.
“He dictated everything we did. It was exhausting, but you’re adrenaline is going so you don’t notice it,” Mr Woods told the Clarion Ledger.
“It was more mentally exhausting than anything because he kept getting off.”
The animal was caught at the weekend – at the start of Mississippi’s hunting season – a 10-day window during which permit holders can hunt a specified number of alligators in each area.
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Some 776 alligators were killed during the 2021 season, according to the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks (MDWFP).
Another 1,581 were caught and released.
Mississippi is home to thousands of gators and officials say that while they typically avoid humans, they sometimes stray into places such as ditches, backyards, swimming pools and even buildings.
The MDWFP says they are not normally aggressive toward people – potentially unlike crocodiles – but the Clarion Ledger has reported there are concerns that dogs have been attacked and that the carnivores might hurt someone.
While crocodiles tend to prefer salty waters, alligators – which are generally smaller than crocs and have a different jaw shape – hang out in freshwater marshes.