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This man just shot a giant alligator that was eating his cows and the photo is terrifying

One bleary eyed-glance at this image and you might think Lake Placid 3 had begun filming in the wilds of South Florida.

Not so - this 15ft (4.5m) alligator is worryingly real.

Weighing in at an almighty 800lb (360kg), professional hunter Lee Lightsey found one feasting in his cattle pond during a supervised hunt before taking aim (that's not him in the picture, or else we might have added an extra foot or two). 

When the creature surfaced from 20ft away Lightsey and another hunting professional shot it, taking this photo of the prize. 'Gators this big are only found around once a year in the US, according to the hunter.

“Although this animal is huge I was not that surprised it existed" Lightsey told the BBC. “We have come across lots over the last 20 years that have been only a little smaller.

"But what really drew our attention to this animal was the fact that it seems to have been feasting on the cattle on my farm, because mutilated body parts were found in the water. It was a monster which needed to be removed."

And removed it was, using a tractor to pull its massive carcass.  

Lightsey runs a company that arranges hunts for alligators, wild boar and turkeys, charging $10,000 to kill an alligator larger than 13ft and $4,500 to bag one between 10ft and 12ft.

Which begs the question: how giant are the turkeys?

[Via: BBC]