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.


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

  1. Why are people saying more could have been found out if they had let it live? First had they not killed it then no one would have known it existed. Think about it. Are you going to just know a gator is 185? No! Are you going to see that thing & just go up to it & trap it to tag it & follow? NO! It’s not a 6 footer. Another reason any animal like gators, deer, & boar are hunted is food and population control. They can be damaging. Have a deer run out in front of you at night and hit it with your car because you don’t have time to stop when they’re spooked and see some of the destruction they cause. Car gets damaged or the driver tries to miss and flips the car injuring the person or worse. I hate that such an old animal lived so long to then be ended like that, but good grief those guys would never know the thing is so old.

    • Before this gator was shot no one knew that reptilian species could live past 150 right brian? So what we could have found out is just how long reptilians (or gators) can live for. Obviously we have no idea, partly because redneck retards go out with their licenses and shoot all the big guys, and partly because we have never tagged one anywhere near this age. Sometimes science and the understanding of the world around us is more important than “putting food on the table” or “protecting your little dumbass dog.” If it’s tagged we can monitor its behavior and keep it away from humans and highway pile ups

    • Um, Rolltide, you missed a crucial piece of the point here. There would be no tagging…no one would KNOW the gator was that old without it’s having been shot because you can’t catch one that big alive. This actually IS a big contribution to science because they gave us the information (in the ONLY way possible) that gators can live twice as long as previously thought. An alligator being big doesn’t mean it’s old, so there is no way to see them in the wild and know they’re “important” enough to be tagged.
      It’s cute that you think we can keep it away from humans…that would only be possible in a zoo type of setting, which would then mean we can’t know how it would progress in the wild. Tagging doesn’t control animals, just tracks them.
      Finally, no, knowledge of the lifespan of a gator is not more important than feeding human beings or protecting other life (they eat people too, not just little dogs).

  2. I see all these tree hugers condemning these hunters for the killing of this gator and it leaves me with one question? How many of you fell this way when an unborn child is murdered?

  3. Jeremiah Greenawalt | November 29, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Reply

    SHUT the hell up people, its a 185 year old alligator, he has no usefullness to the environment anymore other than eating, he cannot reproduce, cannot kill fast prey, due to his enormous size i guarantee this gator was more of a scavenger nowadays, its sick that the first comments i see are people feeling bad for an animal and calling these men murderers,

    • Some might say the same of you Jeremiah. Do you go around revegetating local species? Do you minimise consumption, eating as little as possible to survive? Do you aim to have as little impact on the environment as possible?

      Everything has its place and the alligator as top predator is still fulfilling its role in the environment.
      We dont have another planet to go to. killing these majestic creatures for the fun of it is immoral. Killing for food is something totally different.

    • Jack I am an old man, in Tx why don’t you come on down here to do me in. I’ll be waiting. And no meat is raised on farms & ranch’s not in the store. Moving the deer crossing sign will not make the deer cross somewhere else!

    • I’m just curious on how you, Jeremiah, know when an alligator has no more usefulness in the environment. Whose to say that alligators lose their ability to hunt at older years? Have you studied alligators? Whose to say that an alligator that big has to chase down fast prey. You know how they hunt, right? You know how long they can go without eating, right?

    • if this alligator was of no use then why was it killed? i’ll tell you why–just for the fun of it. no use? why does that alligator have to HAVE a use? your ignorant.

  4. Simple people with simple minds cannot comprehend what they destroy everyday to satisfy their own pride.

    • Southasianredneck | November 30, 2014 at 11:04 pm |

      Thiteral, since you have a complex mind I am sure you are talking about people with simple minds who euthanize their un-born everyday, right? Since you have a complex can you solve this:
      What is the integral of x e to the x? You are so smart!!

  5. Shame on them, and they seem proud of their achievement of killing this wonderful beast, its hardly a skill to shoot an animal, if it was for food it would be understandable, but trophy hunting is the lowest of the low. these people are scum, killing for the sake of killing. and as for the so called argument by the people of limited intelligence that it is a dangerous animal…err it is in its natural environment, encroached by people who think they are superior to nature…ignorant moronic scumbag rednecks,

    • Jeremiah Greenawalt | November 29, 2014 at 6:36 pm |

      moron shut the hell up, a gator that large and old has NO environmental usefullness anymore, the game commission would have killed it as well, knowing the age of the creature

    • Pity I cant reply to Jeremiah, but humans past the age of 30 have no environment usefulness either. Perhaps we should put them all down, especially considering until modern times that’s when humans would have died.

      The alligator as top predator would still be fulfilling his God-given duties and would be very beneficial to the health of its area. Humans on the other hand do nothing but destroy the environment as if the planet was trash and we can just move to a new one every 100 years.

    • assume you are a Vegetarian who never steps on an ant. as to “not a dangerous animal”, Oh My, are you mis-informed.

    • Well apparently Jack baby humans are fair game to you right? Quit criticizing a peoples way of life and I won’t criticize your pathetic lifestyle.

    • Actually, it takes a lot of skill to shoot a gator. You are in a small boat holding the line that the gator is on and have to make sure you shoot only at the small area, about the size of a quarter, in between its eyes because that is the only spot on that large gator soft enough. If you don’t shoot it, your alternative at that point is losing an arm or worst. And if that is too gruesome, google how you get beef. I say theres no skill in going pick up a pre-packaged container of food then comment negatively about someone providing for their own dinner.

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