USA: Hunters Find Bullets from American Civil War in 185-Year Old Alligator’s Hide


Vicksburg| A group of Mississippi hunters who shot and killed an alligator weighting 910 pounds (413 kilograms) on Sunday, were amazed when they discovered that the animal already bore injuries caused by musket ammunitions from the Civil War era. A total of 9 spherical projectiles was found, and the various tests and analysis realized on them have confirmed that they were indeed fired at the animal in the 19th Century.

Nine of the wounds on the animal are believed to have been caused by Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-muskets. These old injuries were concentrated around the animals tail and hind legs, suggesting that the reptile could have possibly been used as a target for shooting practise by Confederate troops.

The huge animal also bore five other bullet wounds from three different calibers of hunting rifles, as well as many dents and scars, which shows that it survived many firearm injuries in the past. It did not however, survive the six .50-caliber bullets fired at him by the group of amateur hunters from Jackson, who were finally able to take it down.

The bullets were confirmed as authentic musket ammunitions from between 1850 and 1870.

The bullets were confirmed as authentic musket ammunitions from between 1850 and 1870.

This incredible animal specimen brings a whole new perspective on this large crocodilian reptile endemic to the southeastern United States. American alligators have been known for years to live well over 50 years and were thought capable of possibly living as long as 70 of 80 years, but this unique specimen was estimated to have been 185 years old at the time of its death.

Other reptiles like turtles, have been known to have lifespans of over 150 years, but it is the first specimen of crocodilian of such an old age ever found. It is also one of the biggest alligators ever killed in the United States. The heaviest ever recorded, weighing in at a staggering 1,011.5 lbs, was pulled out of a river in Alabama in August of this year.


14 Comments on "USA: Hunters Find Bullets from American Civil War in 185-Year Old Alligator’s Hide"

  1. I get it. It was a truly magnificent beast. But they weren’t hunting puppies. Alligators are killers and in certain areas of the south east US they are danerously over populated.
    Hunting is highly regulated and necessary to preserve other species. Over population of alligators eventually means no rabbits or deer or any other animal that may saddle up to the waters edge for a drink. Eventually there is no food left for the gators either.
    It may seem unfortunate that this 185 year old animal’s life should come to such an end. But I seriously doubt the hunters asked for ID before they shot him. Im sure they didnt know what they had until they got him out of the water.

    • how much u wanna bet the kill wasnt due to over population rather than taste for kill, bragging rights, to feel like a man.gimme a break.get a life.if it was for over population, they wouldnt be bragging looking proud making front page news.they should be ashamed and killed themselves the same way.peace

    • or it would state that in the article.that it was for over population

  2. For those of you who don’t like the fact that this alligator was shot; What if you learned that it had killed sheep or cattle owned by a poor farmer? Or what if it had devoured a small pet belonging to a young child? Or worse yet, what if it had attacked a human being? What would you say then? Would that be ok?

    And for those complaining that a poor animal was killed; Have you ever eaten steak or chicken or fish before? Poor little chicken. Why’d you have to eat it?

    Hunting alligators is a tradition that goes way back. It’s no different than fishing. Please stop being so judgmental about something you don’t know much about.

    • It’s about not having to kill that which is rare and ecologically important. I love my dog so I will look after her…this is not the garden of Eden where no danger can come to anything, ever! I prefer to live in a dynamic and diverse world. I lived in Alaska for years and never lost anything to bears, lynx, etc… because we were CAREFUL! Don’t fall asleep on your porch-couch with yer gun and yer beer cuz a gater’ll get ya!

  3. what a shame to lose such an old fellow. he belonged in an aquarium not on someones wall.

  4. I agree with those appalled by the death of this magnificent creature. This creature never hurt a living thing in it’s entire 185 years on the planet. two centuries of acts of random kindness terminated by hunters who should have seen those musket balls through the gators skin. a senseless killing of a kind hearted gentle creature that should have been captured and turned loose at the Democratic National Convention.

  5. If it has a face and a mother, then it is NOT food. These bubbas just love to go out and kill innocent, unsuspecting beings who are living their lives in their own habitat. The moronic smiles on these morons show that they haven’t the slightest idea what they just murdered — an amazing, long-term survivor, who hadn’t a chance against the weapons and (still) primitive idiots of today.

    • Zebediah Lacroix | December 1, 2014 at 11:02 pm |

      Hitler had a face and a mother. Are you saying you wouldn’t eat him?

    • Zebediah, I get your point but no, I would not eat Hitler…

    • If you think they are morons you should go be a Vegan. Since if killing something that eats kids, dogs, and cats is a animal not worth killing. Just think about when you are eating your meat of the innocent cows that were raised in a farm only to be slaughtered so you could have steak on the table.

    • ummmm. What? If it has a face and a mother then it is NOT food? I don’t get it. So I can’t eat any animals according to you? Sorry I can’t stand out in my lawn and graze.

    • There is no innocence in nature.

      This alligator was a killer. Do you pity the deer, rabbits, fish, dogs, rodents, cats, and possibly children and adults that this animal ate?

      This critter has a stronger bite pressure than a lion – and even a hippo. It kills by clamping down, dragging the “victim” to the bottom of a body of water, and rolling around until the animal dies.

      Sea turtles are long-term survivors. This was a long-term predator. A sea turtle lives long by learning how to be harder to kill. An alligator lives longer by learning how to kill *better*.

      And, to say that this didn’t have a chance against the weapons of today means that you know nothing about guns. This was shot by 6 .50 caliber rounds.

      It only takes 1 .50 cal round to pierce the engine block of a diesel truck.

      Alligators run 12mph on land, swim 20mph in water, bite down harder than a hippo — and this one was tougher to put down than a semi truck.

      The smiles on these guys’ faces is because **they survived** an animal that was more dangerous than a T-rex.

      If you’re opposed to eating meat because all meat is murder — you misunderstand nature. This animal ate way more meat in 185 years than the hunters. This animal was a far more deadly murderer than these hunters ever were.

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