Florida hunters kill monster 4.5m-long alligator caught feeding on their cattle

The alligator reportedly measured 4.5m long and weighed over 360kg.
The alligator reportedly measured 4.5m long and weighed over 360kg. PHOTO: OUTWEST FARMS INC/FACEBOOK

Two hunters in the United States have shot what they claimed to be the biggest alligator they have ever come across in the wild.

The 4.5m-long reptile, which weighed in at over 360kg, was found by professional hunter Lee Lightsey and his friend, hunting guide Blake Godwin, in a cattle pond at a farm owned by Mr Lightsey on Saturday (April 2).

"We also discovered the remains of what we determined to be cattle in the water. We determined that he was in fact attacking our livestock as they came to drink," Mr Godwin, who was out on a guided hunt with Mr Lightsey, told Fox 13 News.

Mr Lightsey shot the alligator when both men spotted it surfacing from the water, barely 6m in front of them.

Mr Lightsey, who owns Outwest Farms in Florida's Okeechobee city, arranges hunts for alligators, wild boar and turkey, the BBC reported.

Customers are charged US$10,000 (S$13,500) for killing an alligator larger than 4m, while it costs US$4,500 to kill one between 3m and 3.7m. They are mostly shot using a high-powered rifle.

He added that the largest alligator he had ever killed previously was one that measured just over 4.2m.

His latest catch was so massive that a large farm tractor had to be used to pull it from the pond.

A photo of the alligator dangling from the tractor was posted on the Outwest Farms, Inc's Facebook page on Sunday (April 3), and has since garnered over 4,000 shares.

Responding to claims on social media that the photo had been photoshopped, Mr Godwin said it had been taken on their mobile phones and uploaded directly to Facebook.

Mr Lightsey said he has plans to donate the alligator meat to charity before having it taxidermied to display at hunting shows.