Discover The 5 Largest Alligators Ever Found in Florida

Written by Sofia Fantauzzo
Published: October 15, 2023
Share on:

Advertisement


They say everything is bigger in Texas, but Floridians would like to challenge that phrase when it comes to alligators. Alligators are reptiles that reside mostly in the southeastern United States and South America. A large concentration of these gators live in Florida. These beasts truly look like dinosaurs misplaced in time, and these record-breaking specimens only feed into their prehistoric reputation. Check out some of the largest alligators ever found in Florida!

1. 14 feet 3.5 inches, 654 pounds

massive alligator napping with a toothy grin

Alligators are menacing animals easily capable of attacking and killing a human being.

©J.A. Dunbar/Shutterstock.com

Though 654 pounds for an alligator might not seem impressive, the length is definitely noteworthy. At over 14 feet long, this gator is at the top of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) list.

It was found in November 2010 on the last day of the state’s alligator harvest. The hunter, who is a nurse by day, was Robert Ammerman. After fighting with the gator for about 45 minutes, the journey was not yet over for Ammerman. It took two hours to get the beast back to shore, where it became the longest alligator on Florida’s record.

2. 13 feet 10.5 inches, 1,043 pounds

Alligator at Everglades National Park, Florida

American alligators are one of just two species of alligators in the world!

©timyee/Shutterstock.com

This animal was found in April 1989 in Orange Lake, Florida. It is one of the largest alligators on record in Florida. The skull determined its size, which led to the nickname “the Skull.” With its head measuring almost 30 inches in length, it is the second-largest alligator skull in Florida history. If you’re taking width into consideration as well as length, then it’s possible this is actually the largest alligator skull.

3. 13 feet and 5 inches, 800 pounds

Alligator Basks in the Sun on a Grassy Riverbank in Florida

While alligators are almost everywhere in Florida, they are very widespread in national parks, such as the Everglades.

©FlagtailsPhotography/iStock via Getty Images

This gator was labeled as a catch for the state’s “nuisance alligator program“. In order for an alligator to qualify for this program, it must be at least 4 feet wide and in an unsuitable area. “Unsuitable areas” can be pools, lakes, or garages. Additionally, people making these complaints have to believe the gator could be a threat to people or pets nearby. A license-holding alligator trapper will be given a permit to remove the alligator under these circumstances.

4. 13 feet and 3.5 inches, 920 pounds

Alligator in Florida catches a turtle and eats it.

These magnificent monsters must swallow prey above water, otherwise, their lungs would fill with water when swallowing beneath the surface.

©Jaimie Tuchman/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The most recent find on this list is an alligator that was recently caught in September 2023 in Orlando, Florida by Kevin Brotz. Upon discovering this behemoth, Brotz and his team knew they had to do something about it to preserve the safety of nearby citizens.

While Brotz doesn’t get enjoyment from killing any creature, he does prioritize the safety of people and the necessity of alligator population control. By trapping and eliminating monstrous gators, he lowers the chances of an encounter ending badly.

In Florida, residents can pay just under $300 for an alligator trapping license and permit. The permit allows two tags per season to hunt alligators. There are only 5,000 permits available each year by the state of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This is to help keep the population in check without endangering the species as a whole.

5. 13 feet, 1,008 pounds

alligator looking at camera with mouth open

Though they don’t have much endurance on land, alligators can get up to speeds of 35 miles per hour!

©iStock.com/tobiasfrei

Just short of record-breaking weight for a Florida alligator, this animal took over three hours to move. The hunter, Corey Capps, alleges stalking behavior by this creature for months while out fishing in the river behind his home. Because he was afraid of what could go wrong, he enlisted his friend to pursue the giant. Since his friend Rodney Smith had a license and permit, the team could go after the alligator legally.

Upon capturing the alligator in October 2020, Capps finally could rest easy when fishing without the fear of this prehistoric predator.

Summary of Alligators Caught in Florida

Length (feet, inches)Weight
1. 14′ 3.5″654 lbs
2. 13′ 10.5″1,043 lbs
3. 13′ 5″800 lbs
4. 13′ 3.5″920 lbs
5. 13′1,008 lbs

Another specimen worth noting is the largest alligator on record in Florida at 17 feet and 5 inches long. Due to some information about this specimen being debatable, it did not make it to the formal list. Not much more information is available about this possible record-setting beast but it would likely be around 1,000 pounds. That’s about the weight of four standard refrigerators!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Danita Delimont/Shutterstock.com


Share on:
About the Author

Sofia is a lover of all things nature, and has completed a B.S. in Botany at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). Professionally, interests include everything plant and animal related, with a penchant for writing and bringing science topics to a wider audience. On the off-occasion she is not writing or playing with her cats or crested gecko, she can be found outside pointing out native and invasive plants while playing Pokemon Go.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.