BEAUMONT - A Texas state record breaking alligator was caught Wednesday morning in Liberty County.
Gary Saurage and his crew from Gator Country, in Beaumont, TX, were called in to capture the huge gator from Champion Lake north of Wallisville and Interstate Ten in South Liberty County.
Saurage announced Thursday he would name it "Big Tex."
The record breaking reptile, which measured 13 feet, eight inches long and more than 900 pounds, was brought back to Gator Country where it will be given a new home.
Saurage confirmed with Texas Parks and Wildlife that the gator is the largest ever caught in Texas.
"And they let me know by record they don't see anything that's even been within 5 inches of this as for as being caught live. And uh that makes me feel proud. I've been looking for this gator for a really long time. This is without a doubt the highlight of my career," Saurage told 12News.
After 6 hours out on champion lake in Liberty County, the gator country crew hauled in this gigantic monster. The gator is a state record length of 13 feet and 8 and a half inches, weighing in at 900 pounds.
Gary Saurage is overwhelmed that gator country is the beast's new home.
"There's no question this is the highlight of my career, this is a really big alligator," Saurage said about his team’s accomplishment.
The alligator has not always been this calm. Stuart Marcus with the National Wildlife Refuge says the gator has been a nuisance in the lake.
He believes it's a reminder that grappling with alligators is a job for professionals.
“We would much rather have him back in the wild but because of safety issues we had to move him, but if anything, don't ever feed alligators, if you see one, stay at least 50 or 75 feet away from them," Marcus noted.
This record size gator for the state of Texas got too used to humans. But now that he has a new home in Gator Country, Saurage believes he'll be a lot better off.
"He's not going to be a dead alligator he's going to be a live alligator here so we can educate people and show people what they're like. And this is a magnificent beast, now people from all over the world will come and see even one that's bigger than Big Al, finally," Saurage said.
Two apex alligators, the two largest in the state are now swimming calmly right here in Southeast Texas.
Saurage says he plans to build a new pond for the alligator so he won’t invade Big Al’s space.
Saurage will offer four lifetime passes to Gator Country to the family of who picks the alligator’s name.
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