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Giant Gator Bagged in Texas (or Florida)
Analysis


 More of this Feature
 • Part 1: Email Variants
 • Part 2: The Photo
 

Comments: Both versions of this story can't be true, obviously — the big gator couldn't have been shot in Texas and Florida — but the emailed image of game warden Joe Goff striding beside the hulking alligator he shot and killed in April 2005 is authentic.

It was originally published in The Brazosport Facts of Clute, Texas on April 16, 2005, credited to staff photographer Val Horvath. The caption read as follows:

Joe Goff, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, walks past a 13-foot, 1-inch alligator that he shot and killed in the back yard of a home in the Bar X Ranch on FM 521 near West Columbia.
This substantiates the version of the story claiming that the incident happened in Texas, not Florida. Thanks to reader Shane Allen, we have also received independent confirmation of the exact locale — the Bar X Ranch subdivision in Brazoria County — from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.)

If the reported measurements are correct, the dead gator was indeed a behemoth compared to the average specimen found in Texas, which we are told measures a mere seven feet from head to tail.


Sources and further reading:

Gator Done
Brazosport Facts, 16 April 2005

Nuisance Alligator Reports Increasing in Southeast Texas
Texas Parks & Wildlife news release, 19 May 2003


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Last updated: 04/07/06


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