A giant alligator that was pulled from a ditch in Georgia was so large people thought it was fake.
The animal, which was over 13 feet long and weighed more than 300kg, was almost five feet wide at its broadest point.
It was found by Georgia Department of Natural Resources in February at Lake Blackshear in the US.
The people who discovered the alligator guessed it was around 50 years old, but it had several serious injuries, including gunshot wounds, and had to be euthanised.
DNR wildlife biologist Brent Howze, who is pictured with the animal, told the Cordele Dispatch: “It’s an unfortunate situation, but the best thing for the animal was to put it down.”
“It took a while to get it out of that ditch. It was bigger than we originally anticipated, and we had to use heavy equipment to move it.”
He added: “Apparently a lot of people think it’s fake, but I can assure you that it is not, I’m the one in the picture, and you can probably tell that I didn’t get too close to it.”
In another interview with Georgia’s WALB TV, he said an alligator this size was “extremely unlikely” to attack anyone and emphasised the creatures don’t hunt humans.
He pointed out that alligators only usually grow as large by avoiding civilisation all together.