These first 2 pictures were taken by a KTBS helicopter flying over Lake Thomas, Winter Haven, Florida. The helicopter pilot and the game wardens on the ground were in communication via 2-way radios.
Here is a transcript of their conversation.
‘Air1, have you a visual on the gator, Over’
‘Approaching inlet now, Over’
‘Gator sighted. Looks like it has a small animal in its mouth….moving in, over’
‘Oh Crap it’s a Deer!’
‘Confirm Air1.. Did you say Deer?, Over’
‘Roger………a Deer in it’s mouth….looks like a full sized buck….that’s a big gator, boys. We’re gonna need more men, Over’
‘Roger Air1…..can you give me a idea on size of animal, over’
‘Its a big one…..25 feet at least, please advise, gator is heading to inlet….do I pursue?, over’
That has to be a HUGE gator to have a whole deer in its mouth!
The deer was later found to be a mature Stag.
If you ski at the west end of the lake —- try not to fall overboard.
This alligator was found between Lakeland and Winter Haven Florida near the house of Anita and Charlie Rogers, who could hear the beast bellowing in the night.
Their neighbors had been telling them that they had seen a mammoth alligator in the waterway that runs behind their house, but they dismissed the stories as exaggerations.
‘I didn’t believe it,’ Charles Rogers said, but after the alligator was killed, they realized the stories were, if anything, understated.
Game wardens were forced to shoot the alligator. Joe Goff, a 6’5″ tall game warden, shown below, walks past the 28-foot, 1-inch long alligator that he helped shoot and kill in the Rogers’ back yard.