Montegut man bags 800-pound alligator

BOURG (AP) — It was a huge catch for a

Montegut commercial fisherman: a 12-foot-long, 800 pound alligator found

in the Intracoastal

Waterway at Bourg.

The Courier reported that 35-year-old Rob Neil had gone alligator hunting in the waterway Wednesday when he spotted the huge

'gator.

He had to shoot the reptile 15 times with a .22-caliber rifle.

Neil said it was the first alligator he ever caught. He sold the gator to Big Al's Seafood restaurant in Houma for $350.

Al Mahler, owner of Big Al's, said he has seen some 12- to 13-foot alligators, but the heaviest was 600 pounds.

"They don't usually need to be shot so many times, but it depends on the weapon being used," said Al Mahler, owner of Big

Al's. "But this thing was so big Neil was probably caught off guard with it."

The shooting didn't damage the animal's skin or the meat.

"There's a certain kill spot you shoot them in on the hard part at the back of the head. He did that, so this one was in pretty

good shape," Mahler said.

Mahler will serve the meat from Neil's catch on his restaurant tables.

The skin will be shipped to Italy or France for clothing, shoes, purses and other products.