The 445lb beast was trapped by hunter Ned McNeely in Ravenel, outside Charleston, who took it to the taxidermy and butcher shop, Cordray’s, which processes the beat into sausages, steaks and jerky, alongside other wildlife meat.
Inside the animal’s stomach the shop owners found five tags, belonging to dogs, including one with a working number belonging to an owner who lost his pet 24-years-ago, according to Live 5 WCSC.
Other contents include an electric plug, turtle shells, Bob Cat claws and a bullet casing.
McNeely said owns a property near Edisto River and is “rife with alligators down there.”
Kenneth Cordray, owner of the shop, posted photos on Facebook and wrote: “Ned McNeely brought in this 12’ long 445 lb. private land gator this morning! We don’t usually open up the stomach but we did today. 5 dog tags, 1 bullet jacket, 1 spark plug, loads of turtle shells, and several bobcat claws were inside.”
He added: “Two of the tags were legible and one phone number still worked. The owner said he had that lease 24 years ago and those were from his deer dogs. Pretty interesting.”
Mr Cordray told Live 5 WCSC: “I talked to him and he was an older gentleman and he said that he had a lease down on the other side of the river from where the gator was killed, 24 years ago.”
When asked if any of his dogs had gone missing the owner allegedly replied that when a dog did not return “they always figured...the dogs got eaten by the gators.”
Mr McNeely said: “I’ve always known alligators will take a dog if they get the chance. But how does the spark plug get in there?”
The animal will now be turned into steaks, sausage and jerky, and his skin into a mount.
Mr McNeely said the alligator was the largest he had killed in around 10-15-years of being a hunter.
He told WCSC: “I had to shoot it a couple of times, and I had to get a bunch of ropes and hooks and kayaks and a tractor with a chain to finally get it out of the canal, because it was in probably an 8- to 9-foot canal.”
He added: “My wife is upset with me, because I’m talking about doing a full mount, or I might do a rug mount. I haven’t decided just yet.”
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