Let’s just say this huge gator didn’t like to eat slowly.
Taxidermist Ken Owens saw something he’d never seen before last week when he cut into the stomach of the current world record alligator, caught in August of 2014 on the Alabama River.
“I always thought that once an alligator killed something that it ate it a piece at a time,” said Owens.
Most of the deer’s hair had deteriorated, but the meat on its body and its hooves were still intact. Owens estimates the doe was three years old.
“I can’t imagine how it got ahold of that adult deer and ate it in one piece like that. It’s unbelievable,” Owens said.
Here’s a video of Owens and his taxidermy team at work on skinning the gator. Unfortunately, it seems like the video was shot before they gutted the thing, and it doesn’t make mention of the deer. It’s still some amazing footage.
Believe it or not, the deer wasn’t the only thing Owens found in the gator’s stomach. The giant reptile had also eaten two whole squirrels, both of which were mostly intact.
Owens estimates the record gator ate the animals a few days prior to being killed by hunter Mandy Stokes and fellow gator hunters on Aug. 16. The team fought with the beast on the Alabama River for five hours before Stokes delivered a finishing blow with a shotgun to the gator’s skull.
The worldwide media have focused their attention on the gator, as it is a contender for the world record American alligator. The current record is a 14.8-foot, 880-pound alligator taken near Lufkin, Texas in 2008.
Owens, who is also a certified scorer for Safari Club International, measured the gator for the official world record application.
“I’ve done a few SCI Gold Medal deer and such, but this is the first as far as a potential world record goes,” Owens said.