We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


US alligator hunters break record for biggest beast ever caught – three times in a week

The annual Mississippi hunt, necessary to control the size of the alligator population, apparently couldn't come soon enough

Hunters in Mississippi have broken the state’s record for the biggest alligator ever caught – and have done so three times in one week.

The annual seven day hunting season, described as crucial by the state’s wildlife department to control alligator populations, clearly couldn’t come soon enough.

It may be that there’s something in the water this year – a group of hunters in Redwood caught a 723lb (328kg) beast just after midnight on 1 September, breaking last year’s record by the enormous margin of 26lb (11.8kg).

Yet just one hour later they were trumped by another group which took an alligator weighing 727lb (330kg), and measuring 13 feet 4.5 inches.

Hunters continued to take to the waters in the days which followed, with a seemingly insurmountable record to beat.

Yet on Sunday morning, novice hunter Dalco Turner broke the record yet again, with a male alligator weighing 741lb (336kg). He told local reporters his group initially passed by the animal when the first saw it, before they realised just how big it was.

It is the new record for the largest alligator ever caught by hunters in the Mississippi hunt, in which just 923 people are given permits and allowed to kill two of the animals each.

Click here to see a gallery of images from this year's multi-record hunt