PHOTO: Enormous 625-Pound Alligator Bagged in South Carolina Lake

by Lauren Boisvert
PHOTO: Enormous 625-Pound Alligator Bagged in South Carolina Lake

Last weekend marked the opening of alligator hunting season in South Carolina, and a local taxidermy shop is getting swamped with gators for processing. Cordray’s Processing and Taxidermy in Ravenel, SC already received 18 gators by Sunday, the shop posted on Facebook. According to the shop, the first one they received on Saturday night was a massive 13-foot gator from upper Lake Marion.

The incredible alligator weighed 625 pounds on the dot, but that wasn’t even the biggest gator owner Michael Cordray has processed. His biggest gator was 825 pounds and 13 feet, 6 inches. But, this big guy is a close second.

During alligator season in South Carolina, which runs from September 10 to October 8, Cordray said his shop gets between 90 and 100 alligators to process. He started the business 30 years ago and has processed thousands of gator catches since then.

According to a report from The State, the hunter was identified as Nick Gilbert, but he did not comment to the outlet about his hunt. A resident who was present when Gilbert brought the gator ashore commented on Cordray’s Facebook post.

“Seen them leaving the ramp with him, one heck of a lizard. Pictures don’t do it justice,” they wrote. Another commented, “That’s a freaking dinosaur!!”

Truly, this was a once-in-a-lifetime hunt, and on the first day of the season, too. Cordray’s posted a short interview with the hunters on their Facebook page. In the video, Nick Gilbert, along with his brother and another hunter, described the hunt and the struggle to haul in this massive reptile. He explained that it took 30 minutes to “get him up and get him shot.” Gilbert continued, “[It’s] really a blessing, couldn’t have gone any better.”

Alligators Attack Two Boats in Texas

Two alligator attacks in the Houston, Texas area recently put the community on edge. First, a rower named Eugene Janssen had his boat attacked when he accidentally hit a gator with his oar. President of the Greater Houston Rowing Club Dee Connors spoke about the incident.

“An alligator just came up underneath him and chomped the side of the boat. It was pretty insane but he was able to stay in the boat [even] though [it] was sinking.”

The rowing club has been operating in the Oyster Creek area for over 30 years. Conners told the New York Post that this is the first “aggressive” encounter they’ve had with an alligator. The rowing club hired an alligator trapper to relocate the reptile. As of reporting they successfully had the gator in custody.

The next attack came four days later. Walter Pasciak was out rowing when a 5-foot alligator swam up and bit the bottom of his boat.

“I was lucky,” Pasciak told the Houston Chronicle. “Something like that can flip you off the boat, which can be a difficult experience when there’s an aggressive alligator in the water.” Apparently, the rowing club is not sure they got the right alligator the first time. They’re also entertaining the idea that there are two aggressive alligators in the area. They’ve since hired a second trapper to look into the situation.