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‘Okefenokee Joe,’ massive gator around since WWII, dies

Georgia's Coastal Ecology Lab announced a gator, called Okefenokee Joe, passed away from old age.
Georgia's Coastal Ecology Lab announced a gator, called Okefenokee Joe, passed away from old age.(Georgia’s Coastal Ecology Lab via CNN Newsource)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 11:52 AM EDT
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WAYCROSS, Ga. (Gray News) - A massive alligator that scientists believe was around during World War II has died.

Georgia’s Coastal Ecology Lab announced the gator, called Okefenokee Joe, passed away from old age.

Joe was 11 feet and 6 inches long and weighed more than 400 pounds. According to the lab, he was the “dominant male alligator” of the Okefenokee Swamp Park for a very long time.

The lab had been watching his movement since June 2020.

The group says they got his last GPS transmission back on July 20 and thought his satellite tag fell off.

The tracking device was found after several weeks and the lab confirmed his death. They say he died in a remote and secluded place in the park.

“We are so grateful to have known him, for his contribution to science and the further understanding and preservation of his species,” they said in a Facebook post.

The group said in a Facebook comment that, though it is difficult to properly age an alligator, they gauged Okefenokee Joe was very old based on his size and body condition.

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN Newsource contributed to this report.