Hunters Catch 920-Pound ‘Dinosaur Gator’ in Florida, Second-Biggest Alligator in the State

Florida alligator hunters pulled a record 920-pound “dinosaur gator” from waters near Orlando last Friday.

Lifelong Floridian Kevin Grotz, who runs Florida Gator Hunting and caught the 13.3-foot beast along with his team, said he’s never seen anything so astonishing during his 20 years as a boat captain. The gator hunters identified the massive reptile near an Orlando population and made the decision to euthanize it in the interest of public safety. “Ultimately, if a beast of that size gets a hold of you or, God forbid, a child, the odds are tough,” Grotz told local outlet WESH 2.

He and his team immediately set about removing the creature from the water. In the end, it took them nearly four hours to corral it. Video and photos, posted to Facebook, show the men struggling with the gator before eventually subduing it on the shore and binding its jaw closed.

“Honestly, my first concern was safety because we were in a smaller boat,” Grotz said of their small tin vessel. “And then you add a gator whose head is this big. All he has to do is turn, and we’re in trouble…. All I kept saying was, 'Guys, we have to be smart. We have to play this safe.' And I couldn't have been with better people.”

Grotz’s pal Carson Gore admitted he thought the alligator would be the last of him. “I laid down in the front of the boat and said, ‘All right, I have to lay down until we get back,’ because I thought I was going to die,” he laughed.

This is the second-largest alligator to be found in Florida’s history, trailing a 13-foot, 1,043 pounder discovered in 1989. Grotz reiterated that he just wanted to do the right thing, rather than set a record. “I don't ever feel good about killing an animal. But with that being said, I respect the harvest,” he said, before referring to the 2018 case of a boy eaten by an alligator at Disney World. That incident occurred close to where Grotz and his team found this dino gator.

“These are killing machines. They can, not that they want to, but it does happen. So we need to balance the population as well, so that's how we look at it,” Grotz explained.