This story was first published on August 7, 2006
This long circulated message features photographs that show a very large alligator swimming with a fully grown deer in its mouth.
The photographs have been circulating, along with variants of the message shown below, since 2004. They first began circulating via email but later appeared on social media websites as well.
According to this version of the message, the photographs were taken from the KTBS helicopter over Lake Conroe, Texas. Other versions of the message use alternative locations, including Lake George (Florida), Cross Lake (Louisiana) and Lake Murray (South Carolina).
The photographs are genuine. However, they were not taken over Lake Conroe or any of the other locations mentioned. Nor were they taken from a news helicopter. In fact, the photographs were taken by Terri Jenkins, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a wildlife refuge near Savannah, Georgia . According to information in a 2004 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Press Release:
The photographs of this deer-eating alligator were taken from the air by Terri Jenkins, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service District Fire Management Officer. She was preparing to ignite a prescribed fire at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, about 40 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, on March 4, 2004.
Jenkins took the photographs from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helicopter used for igniting controlled fires. She estimates that the alligator was at least 12 or 13 feet long.
This picture was taken by a KTBS helicopter flying over Lake Conroe !
(For those of you who are not local, Lake Conroe is near Conroe, TX .)
That has to be a HUGE gator to have a whole deer in its mouth!
Are you ready to go skiing on Lake Conroe ?!
If you ski at the west end of the lake — try not to fall.
Photos by Terri Jenkins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Alternative versions of the message:
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!