A nearly a 13-foot, 700 pound alligator was found in an irrigation ditch, The officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said this week.
"The only way these animals get this large is by avoiding humans."
The giant reptile was found in the ditch near Lake Blackshear, Melissa Cummings, a spokeswoman for the Georgia DNR, told First Coast News.
"It's a testament to Georgia's alligator-management program that alligators can grow to this size," she said. "The only way these animals get this large is by avoiding humans."
Brent Howze, the wildlife biologist who is seen crouching behind the reptile in the photo, says the picture is not a fake.
"Apparently a lot of people think it's fake, but I can assure you that it is not."
Brent Howze told the Cordele Dispatch, "Apparently a lot of people think it's fake, but I can assure you that it is not. I'm the one in the picture, and you can probably tell that I didn't get too close to it."
Howze said he arrived where the gator was located after a local Sumter County resident spotted it in the ditch on Monday morning.
"It took a while to get it out of that ditch. It was bigger than we originally anticipated, and we had to use heavy equipment to move it," Howze reported to the paper.
Sadly, First Coast News reported the alligator was in poor health and also had old gunshot wounds on its body, and It was ultimately euthanized.