On May 18, 1969, three adult male and 3 adult female alligators were flown to Columbus by Southern Airlines for release at Bluff Lake on the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. It is likely that many of the alligators seen by today’s visitors are decedents from these original six alligators. It is also likely that the 14’2” adult male alligator found dead near the water control structures of Bluff Lake is one of the original three males released in 1969. Whether the case or not, refuge officials are sure this is the largest alligator ever documented on the refuge. Refuge Manager Steve Reagan said, “I am very impressed by the general size of many alligators at the Noxubee, and seeing an animal that measures more than 14 feet is a one in a life time experience. I could have, however, missed out on the smell.” Initial inspections of the carcass indicated the animal likely died of natural causes.