A Texas gator enthusiast has captured what appears to be a state-record alligator in Liberty County, northeast of Houston. The gator measured 13 feet, 8 inches and weighed in at about 900 pounds.
Gary Saurage, owner of Gator Country in Dayton, Texas, said, “Welcome home, new big alligator,” in a Facebook video as his crew was driving back into his farm after capturing the record gator. “We’ve been looking for animals our whole career. Today, we got him.”
Saurage received a call from a federal wildlife refuge in Dayton reporting the sighting of a very large alligator hanging out by a boat ramp, KDFM CBS6 in Beaumont reported. The refuge called because the gator was getting too close to people at the lake and could be a danger.
“People gather at that ramp to crab and clean fish, and apparently the gator became accustomed to it and would frequent the ramp,” the Beaumont CBS affiliate reported.
Saurage, with the help of his crew, were able to capture the alligator by luring him in with chicken. They captured it with a rope and bound his large mouth and feet so it could not escape. The eyes were covered with a blue bandanna to help calm the record gator.
Experts believe the gator is about 50 to 60-years-old, according to KTRK ABC13 in Houston. The capture was made at Champion Lake which is located about 10 miles south of Dayton, Texas.
Once captured, five college interns sat on top of the alligator to keep him from flailing around. They later loaded it onto a trailer for transport Gator Country.
The gator farm owner is asking people to visit his Gator Country Facebook page and suggest a name for his new star. “Yall may not get it but this is the pinnacle for me,” Saurage posted on Facebook.
This alligator is said to be the largest alligator captured alive in the Lone Star State. A larger alligator that measured 14 feet, 3 inches was killed during an alligator hunt at the James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area in May 2013.
The largest alligator recorded in the U.S. was a 19 feet, 2 inch alligator taken during a Louisiana hunt in 1890, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials reported in their “Alligators in Texas” guidebook.