Mississippi is continuing to make national and international news as hunters catch a series of state record breaking alligators. Perfect conditions and a broader hunting area are contributing to the record sized alligators.
Hunter Ben Walker and three friends caught an alligator that set the state record for longest male ever caught at 13 feet 7 inches.
Walker says the catch was a thrilling experience.
"Then we started looking at it and it was like 'Oh my gosh, what have we done now. What are we going to do with this massive thing?'. He ended up weighing close to 690 pounds," Walker said.
In addition to Walker's catch, the record for largest and heaviest female as been reset and the weight record for males has been set and broke three times since the weekend.
Long time sports columnist Bobby Cleveland thinks the records are falling because this is first year that hunters have been able to search for alligators statewide.
But he also says perfect conditions and savvy hunters play a role as well.
"They are better. They have got better water to hunt. And this year they have better conditions. and that is why we saw it. But in the future I think we are going to see it expand and we are going to see even bigger alligators caught," Cleveland said.
It is not unusual for alligators to grow to this size, says reptile expert Terry Vandeventer but he is quick to say that Alligators are not a threat to humans because they typically try to avoid people.
"People aren't educated to these things. A big alligator is a scary looking thing. But they don't offer a threat to anybody in Mississippi. They are supposed to be here. Their scientific name is Alligator Mississippiensis," Vandeventer said.
Vandeventer also says the alligators mold the souther swamp ecosystem calling them king of the swamp.
According to state records, zero people have been attacked by an alligator in Mississippi.