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 alligatorfur.com, 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.

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

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24 Comments

      1. Your pictures are disgusting and make me sick. Perhaps I should put y’all on display, hang you by a tracker and see how you like it. Humans make me sick.

    1. What about Deer Meat for Dinners Gator? 13ft 2in. 1127Lb, dont get why it’s not mentioned here… it’s on YouTube.com/deermeatfordinner

      1. For all those concerned about these poor dead alligators think about this. I’m the south alligators diminish the stocking ratios of farmers who raise the crops you eat. You will starve, even vegetarians, if these animals aren’t managed and destroyed. In Florida the biggest farce is that the American Alligator is on the endangered species list. They are invasive and over populated beyond comprehension.

        I, personally, a military vet, lost my service dog to an alligator attack. It would have been a federal crime for the gator to be destroyed. Which it should have been. However, as a law abiding citizen bound to protect our country that alligator remains in what is now named Hoopers Pond. RIP pal. You were the best.

        I don’t want to attack animal rights folks but you must think bigger picture. Those same gators kill calves and other livestock. The American Alligator enjoys more freedom that the citizens do.

        While we overreact to animal populations we just blow the ecosystem apart.

        We began seeing animals as people. We began replacing common sense and logic behind feelings. We have to reason these problems not “feel” our way through them.

        1. Dude, you’re so full of it. The bias is obvious. An alligator ate your dog so you dislike them.

          First of all, Alligators aren’t endangered, theyre rated as LC (least concern). The gators CAN’T be invasive when they’re just as native to that environment as whitetail deer. Seriously what are you going on about?

          The American Alligator mostly eats fish, turtles, birds, and other small animals. They will eat the occasional deer or wild pig, or domesticated dogs, cats, and calves when given the chance, but it seldom happens, and definitely not enough to harm any populations of livestock. You are acting like they’re some kind of scourge to farmers. They aren’t.
          They even control populations of an invasive species that more often preys on cats and dogs, the pythons in Florida.

          We began seeing animals as people? Laughable. PEOPLE are ANIMALS.
          Replacing common sense and logic behind feelings? You’re the one doing that.

        2. @Dying Farmer: I’m sorry for your loss….man, that had to HURT.
          I was around when the American Alligator was first protected in 1967. Within ten years or so, the population had grown to pest proportions….quite a remarkable recovery. These days,they are listed as ‘Least Concern ‘ because there’s plenty of them…..as we all know, they may now be hunted for profit again.
          The life (or death) of any individual alligator is utterly meaningless in terms of the species and in terms of the ecosystem.
          We sleep safely between clean sheets here in the USA
          Thank you for your service.

      2. Wow

        Have ever watched Nat Geo? Catch one of those shows about the survival of the wildlife.

        I have yet to see a predatory animal, say a lioness or Lion, pull up at the last second, put its paw to its chin and speak, “you know, this is such a beautiful gazelle, I’ll bet he or she has a family. Come to think of it this poor gazelle hasn’t ever done anything too me or my pride. If I kill it how will it’s family eat? I can’t do it ( bursting into tears ). Go on gazelle live long and prosper.

        No it’s never happened. That’s the difference between animal and people. There’s no thoughtful responses. That lion takes that gazelle and it is a blood bath. Total slaughter. There’s no hurt feelings. The gazelle ‘s family doesn’t call a meeting and plan revenge against the lions family.

        I am upset about the gator killing my dog. My service dog. He helped me get through my days since returning to my civilian life. I can promise you that the gator didn’t care. I didn’t care for the way you made light of the situation almost in mocking sarcasm.

        I have watched people kill people for most of my adult life. It’s horrific. It’s left my conscience full of guilt. One night we’re out looking for the “enemy” and the next day we’re pulling children out of a burning school that the so called “enemy” bombed themselves. Killing their very own people and worse yet children.

        Alligators nor any other animal grieve. They don’t have funerals. They don’t plan revenge.

        I will grant you that there are people who act like animals. Some of them in prison. How did they get there? Through a justice system. People judged them guilty and a judge sentenced them to prison. The victims of these criminals cry and lash out when the verdict is read. There’s no judge or jury in the animal kingdom. They have no ability to reason. They fight or flee. The strong survive and the weak are eaten without any concern for outside factors. We would call it selfishness. If the animals could speak, and they can’t, they would probably say, “it’s not selfish. I was hungry so I killed it and ate it. “

        I do believe you’re right in part of your response. Humans are responsible for these gator issues and you’re right again when you said they aren’t in endangered. They are classified as a protected species. There are serious penalties for unlawfully killing an alligator. I don’t make the laws. I don’t agree with many of them, however, as a hunter I can’t subjectively pick and choose which lawfully protected species I can hunt and not hunt because of my belief that one should be protected and one shouldn’t. There’s a couple hundred Florida panthers left and I’m probably guessing on the high side. I can’t just determine that panthers should or shouldn’t be protected whether it killed my dog or not. They’re protected and cannot be hunted just like the gators. I abide by the law. I did report the incident to the wildlife commission and they chose not to destroy the gator. The gator lives, Hooper, my dog, is dead and that’s the way it remains.

        I fought for freedom of speech among other freedoms. I respect your opinion and accept that it differs from mine. There’s no need to get petty.

        I don’t believe humans are animals. You do. We disagree. It’s ok. This is how problems are resolved. Letting people have their say. I’ve had my opinions debunked more times than I care to mention. I try to keep an open mind. This one we’re pretty far apart on. It’s not the end of the world. Who knows, maybe we agree on a bunch of other issues.

        1. Smh. It’s hard to even know where to start. So I’m not even going to try because it will probably do no good to try to explain things to you anyway. Certain things which seem blatantly obvious to some of us are apparently beyond the comprehension of others. Being ‘ovely civilized’ is a sickness afflicting far too many humans. They’ve lost touch with a certain portion of reality and separate themselves from the rest of the natural world by a self imagined barrier, thinking themselves as above and apart from everything else living on this planet. It’s a real shame that some people can’t fathom that humans aren’t that different from other animals, that humans have a monopoly on emotions and are unique to a point of being completely separate and apart from the rest of their natural society of life from which they should share with other animals but which they feel the need to dominate, manipulate and control everything around them. Instead of living in harmony with everything else on this planet they just exploit their surroundings to the point of losing touch with the reality of the fact that humans are just animals too. Humans are the invasive species, exploitive, small minded and cruel. Humans need to get over themselves and take a good look around and truely see that life is precious, to everything, not just to them, but to all living creatures and everything should be treated with respect and dignity, and given space and resources to not only liver, but to thrive in. But that will never happen due to too many small minded people who think themselves above other creatures and pay no concern to how they treat other life. They pay no heed, not a second thought to whatever else might be effected and affected by their actions. Your words seem to reflect that sentiment, the attitude that you’re better than other creatures in nature. Being able to force your will on your surroundings doesn’t make you better than everything else it just makes you a bully. Also, fighting to control the heroin trade in Afghanistan isn’t fighting for my freedom of speech. So don’t believe for one moment that you’re doing or have done me any favors. I support our military but please don’t misrepresent what is purpose is in some of these other countries.

          1. Man, I swear you have no compassion. That man lost his pet possibly his best friend to a Alligator and he didn’t choose where he was sent and what his job was while in the military he signed up to serve his country and was sent where they wanted him and he followed orders just like every other American soldier or salior or airman or marine. You have no idea what that man went through our what that dog ment to him or how many people are alive today because of his and that dogs efforts so show some respect.

        2. The thing about humans is, we’re invasive everywhere. We kill elephants, their young, orangutans, and chimpanzees (all animals who have been proven to mourn and grieve after losing young or family) for nothing but fun. We’re destroying everything, not just to survive but for greed.

          1. Absolute no respect for someone that (whether true or false) believed he was defending the flag and constitution. Learn how to Express your opinions ina way that doesn’t diminish those of others. It’s not complicated bud. It’s just respectful (human) interaction ;). Grow up some and tell the man sorry for what he went through and silently disagree with his opinion. Close minded ideals are one of the greater flaws in our world. Try harder next time to listen more and speak less…

  1. Wikipedia also cites this as a source for the 5.94 m long alligator: Wood, Gerald (1983). The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-85112-235-9.

  2. For the axxholes that killed the largest gator wtf…… who kills something like that. No need in this day and age as it could have been caught.

  3. Humans are animals, the most intelligent, but far from perfect. Revenge is one of our lesser traits as all it usually does is transfer the pain you feel to another human. I am sorry for the loss of your service animal and wish you well. Humans have cause more death and destruction of this planet than any other animal alive.

  4. I agree with you. No picture, it didn’t exist. I think the world before photography was fake. Nothing existed before then.

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