During the recent statewide gator hunt in Alabama, a 1,000 pound alligator was caught. It was sent to a taxidermist to be mounted. As he cut the massive beast open, he was shocked at what he found. Inside was a partially but fully intact deer. Alligators are not known for eating their prey whole. They either rip out chunks of meat or team up with other gators to rip it apart.
Ken Owens is a successful taxidermist who thought he had seen everything over the years. That is, until one day recently when he opened up what is believed to be the largest alligator ever killed.
The massive animal was caught during Alabama’s annual statewide gator hunt. The trophy animal was presented to Owens’ Autaugaville taxidermy studio to be preserved. But when the artist cut the beast open, he could not believe his eyes.
In the alligator’s belly he found an intact adult female deer.
“I always thought that once an alligator killed something that it ate it a piece at a time,” Owens said. “I can’t imagine how it got ahold of that adult deer and ate it in one piece like that. It’s unbelievable.”
Although the deer had been partially digested, Owens was able to determine the deer’s age and size based on part of its jaw bone. He believes the deer was about three years old, and probably was average sized. In Wilcox County, where the alligator was captured, deer regularly grow to about one hundred fifteen pounds.
To think that an alligator could be so big as to bring down and swallow a deer that size in one gulp is to imagine the unimaginable.