Girthy gator: Florida trappers snag 12-foot, 500-pound monster

Jim Cutway describes wrangling alligator from Parrish waterway

Credit: Jim Cutway.

PARRISH, Fla. – Holy, freaking gator!

Trappers on Wednesday captured a 12-foot, 500-pound alligator that was menacing divers in the community of Parrish, northeast of Bradenton.

Divers discovered the massive beast underwater while working on a private project and immediately got out to seek help, according to Jim Cutway, a licensed alligator trapper who helped capture the animal.

"The divers had less than 5 feet of visibility, and they knew he was there," Cutway said. "The gator was very close them. He was bothering them."

Cutway, who is also head beekeeper and owner of Myakka's Gold Apiary, and another trapper licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, arrived about 30 minutes later and went to work. 

"The divers said, 'We're out of here until something is done with him,'" Cutway said.

Cutway said he and the other trapper used calls and the alligator popped his head out of the water.

"Wow!" said Cutway, when asked about his first reaction to seeing the large gator.

Credit: Jim Cutway.

Cutway said they were able to snag the alligator, but it took more than two hours to wrangle him onto the shore. He added that they were not in any immediate danger, but the big guy gave them a "long-fought tug of war."

"That one was very girthy, big bull gator," he said.

The beast was taken to an alligator farm on the state's east coast.

Believe it or not, Cutway said the alligator was not the largest one he's ever caught. He once snagged a gator that measured 12 feet, 6 inches long.

The divers returned to their underwater project as soon as the alligator was on land and secured, Cutway said.


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Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.