Alligators (American alligator – A. mississippiensis) can often reach at least 14 or 15 feet (4.25-4.57 meters) in length, which is even larger than some crocodile species, but not all of them, especially not the Saltwater Crocodile. Chinese alligator – A. sinensis is much smaller). But what is the largest alligator ever measured?

American Alligator - largest alligator species
An apex predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator, is the largest alligator species within its family Alligatoridae. The only other living alligator species, the Chinese alligator is smaller. Adult American alligators measure 3.4 to 4.8 meters (11.2 to 15.7 feet) in length, and can weigh up to 560 kg (1,230 lb), with unverified sizes of up to 5.85 meters (19.2 feet) and weights of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Photo by Yulia Sense on Deposit Photos

A list of largest alligators ever recorded

6. Tom Grant’s alligator (12 feet 9 inches – 3.89 meters)

American hunter Tom Grant killed a huge alligator in 2012 in Mississippi. It was measured at 12 feet 9 inches – 3.89 meters. Grant also killed another alligator in 2015 and claimed that it was even bigger. No precise measurement was delivered.

5. Mike Cottingham’s alligator (13 feet 3 inches – 4.03 meters)

A hunter in Arkansas, Mike Cottingham killed a 13 feet 3 inches (4.03 meters) long alligator in 2012.

The reptile was so huge, that it took five people to lift it into Cottingham’s boat. Its claimed weight was 1,380 pounds (626 kg). If it’s true, this makes it the heaviest alligator ever caught.

4. Big Tex (13 feet 8.5 inches – 4.18 meters)

Big Tex is the largest captive alligator in the Unites States. It is measured at 13 feet 8.5 inches (4.18 meters). It weighs over 900 pounds (408 kg).

The giant alligator escaped during the Imelda flooding in 2019 but was later recaptured and relocated. Now he leaves in a safely contained exhibit area at Gator Country Adventure Park in Beaumont, Texas, an alligator rescue facility and adventure park.

3. Robert Ammerman’s Alligator (14 feet 3.5 inches – 4.36 meters)

Hunter Robert Ammerman killed one of the largest alligators ever recorded on November 1, 2010, in Florida. It was measured at 14 feet 3.5 inches (4.36 meters). It weighed 654 pounds (297 kg).

2. The Florida farm alligator (15 feet – 4.57 meters)

In Florida, hunters Lee Lightsey and Blake Godwin shot a 15-feet (4.57 meters) and 800 pounds (362.8 kg) alligator. The gator, one of the largest alligators ever measured, was reportedly terrorizing and eating cattle on a Florida farm. Definitely not the largest alligator ever, but it’s worth mentioning it here.

So, what is the largest alligator ever recorded? There are two candidates for the largest alligator title.

1. The largest alligator ever recorded is: Alabama Alligator (The Stokes Alligator) (15 feet 9 inches – 4.8 meters)

15 feet and 9 inches (4.8 meters). The largest alligator ever recorded.

Five members of the Stokes family captured and killed a giant alligator at the Alabama River on August 16, 2014, which measured 15 feet and 9 inches (4.8 meters) long and weighed 1,011.5 pounds ( about 458.8 kg). Most sources pick this one as the largest alligator ever recorded.

It can be viewed in the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, Montgomery. Mandy Stokes, who shot dead the animal, has said the alligator was 24 – 28 years old, which was determined from an analysis of its leg bone.

Stokes Alligator, Alabama - the largest alligator ever recorded
The Stokes alligator, which measured 15 feet and 9 inches long and weighed 1,011.5 pounds (~458.8 kg) is on display at the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. It is the largest alligator ever recorded.

The Louisiana Alligator? Claimed size: 19 feet 2 inches (5.84 meters)

According to Wikipedia, and the open-source encyclopedia cites, the largest alligator ever was shot dead on Marsh Island, Louisiana and it was 19 feet 2 inches (5.84 meters). Unfortunately, there’s no photo of the beast. So I have doubts if it’s true.

Honorable mentions

Florida golf course alligator

A giant alligator took a stroll across the fairway, making his way to the lake beside the third hole at Buffalo Creek Golf Club, Florida. It’s really large, but it’s impossible to correctly estimate its size from that distance. The guy who took the video says “it must be at least 15 feet long” and he’s probably right. It is definitely one of the largest alligators ever seen.

Giant alligator walks across Florida golf course. One of the largest alligators ever seen.

2020 Florida Alligator

This huge alligator is caught on camera during Hurricane Eta in Naples, Florida.

2020 Florida Alligator
2020 Florida Alligator is one of the largest alligators ever seen.


M. Özgür Nevres

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