A man in Mississippi caught a record-breaking, 792-pound alligator over Labor Day weekend, while the half-ton alligator caught in Alabama in August was declared the largest American alligator ever caught Friday, Aug. 29.

Stokes Alligator Is Official World Record Holder

In mid-August, Mandy Stokes, husband John Stokes and family members, killed a 1,011.5-pound alligator, shattering the previous world record for the largest alligator ever caught. Previously, the record holder was a 14-foot, 838-pound alligator killed in 2011.

This new state record breaker, killed in the Alabama River, was officially named the world record holder for the heaviest American alligator ever caught. Safari Club International (SCI) performed official measurements, declaring the alligator was 15 feet, 9 inches in length. The enormity of the alligator even impressed SCI Master Measurer John Chitwood, who said, “Usually when people call us to measure something, it’s often not as big as advertised. It’s nice to have something like this alligator that exceeds people’s expectations.”

Mandy Stokes, who has been credited with the big catch, says she is shocked by the measurements, saying she had no idea what size alligator she had been trying to reel in when she was hunting.

“I’m just shocked. From what we already knew, I honestly figured it would have been under 15 feet. Now I just want the animal to be recognized for what he is. I know a lot of people don’t understand why we killed him, but since we did, we just as well admire its beauty,” Stokes said.

Stokes has expressed her intention to have the gator mounted and put on public display.

Record-Breaking Alligators Caught In Mississippi

Gator hunting season has begun in Mississippi, and hunter Robert Mahaffey has already earned attention and praise, capturing a huge alligator that, at 756 pounds. Mahffey broke the record for the biggest alligator ever caught during the hunting season in the state on Saturday.

“That’s the largest one we’ve weighed so far that’s taken by a hunter. We know there are larger individual alligators out there – wouldn’t be surprised to see 14-foot plus, or even 1,000 pounds,” said Alligator Program Coordinator Ricky Flynt of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks.

Labor Day weekend was the inaugural weekend of 2014’s alligator hunting season, and Flynt said he expects records to continue to be broken as the season continues. Flynt was right, as just a few days later, Brian Montgomery and two other hunters on his team captured a 792-pound alligator, once again shattering the Mississippi state record.

The Mississippi alligator-hunting season will last until Monday, Sept. 8, and, according to Flynt, 920 permits were issued to hunters prior to the season. In 2013, the record for biggest alligator catch of the state was broken four times, so there will no doubt be bigger, heavier alligators to come.