January 09, 2010

Alabama Alligator

These first two pictures were taken by a KTBS helicopter flying over Lake Wiess, which is about ninety miles north of Birmingham, Alabama.

The helicopter pilot, and the game wardens on the ground, were in communication via two-way radios.

Here is a transcript of their conversation:

Air1, have you a visual on the 'gator? Over.

Approaching inlet now. Over.

Roger Air1.

'Gator sighted. Looks like it has a small animal in its mouth...moving in. Over.

Roger Air1.

Oh, crap, it's a deer!

Confirm, Air1...did you say 'deer?' Over.

Roger...a deer in its mouth..lookds like a full-sized buck...that's a big 'gator, boys. We're gonna need more men. Over.

Roger, Air1...can you give me a idea on size of animal? Over.

It's a big one...twenty-five feet, at least; please advise 'gator is heading to inlet..do I pursue? Over.

The deer was later found to be a mature stag, measuring eleven feet!

This alligator was found between Centre, and Leesburg, Alabama, near a house! Game wardens were forced to shoot the alligator.

Anita and Charlie Rogers could hear the beast bellowing in the night. Their neighbors had been telling them that they had seen a mammoth alligator in the waterway that runs behind their house, but they dismissed the stories as exaggerations.

"I didn't believe it," Charles Rogers said, but after the alligator was killed, they realized the stories were, if anything, understated.

Alabama Parks and Wildlife game wardens had to shoot the beast.

Joe Goff, a 6'5" tall game warden, shown below, walks past the twenty-eight foot, one inch long alligator that he helped shoot and kill in the Rogers' back yard.

The above report was sent to me in an email. I'm assuming it's all true, having seen a man reel in a seventy-five pound catfish at Guntersville Dam, which isn't all that far from Centre, Alabama. It took two men to hold it in their arms, while I snapped a photo of it. That was a small one, considering reports of catfish as large as school buses, spotted lying on the bottom of the lake, next to the dam.

I guess Alabama is a lot like Texas, in that respect..everything seems to grow just a little bit bigger!

But what I'm wondering is, what was that alligator doing in that part of Alabama?