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11-foot-long 'King Arthur' the alligator spotted at South Carolina golf resort with mysterious head piece

A "dominant" male alligator named King Arthur was recently found in South Carolina with a metallic object on his head, Georgia wildlife experts say. He was eventually freed.

A South Carolina alligator was found with a strange object on its head – and wildlife experts in Georgia were called to get to the bottom of it.

The University of Georgia Coastal Ecology Lab made a Facebook post about the 11-foot-long alligator, which has been named King Arthur, on Monday. 

The lab explained that it was recently contacted about a "dominant male alligator" wearing an unusual contraption at Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort in St. Helena Island, South Carolina.


"After talking with them and looking at the pictures they sent, it appeared that this alligator had somehow gotten a tomato cage stuck over his head!" the lab said.

The UGA Coastal Ecology Lab's staff cautioned against any human intervention at first, as animals can sometimes free themselves after being trapped in an object.

"The first step in situations like this is to monitor the animal closely to see if the object is affecting their normal behaviors and if they are making progress in getting free," the lab explained.

"With this alligator, it seemed like his ability to eat might be impacted, but after 2 days he was able to break part of the cage and free his head. However, it was still attached fairly tightly around his neck."


After a few days, the Georgia researchers decided to take matters into their own hands – with help from the resort's head naturalist.

"Since it did not seem like he would be able to get the cage off himself and things were getting caught on it, we were worried that he would get stuck on something underwater and drown if he could not get free," the Facebook post read. "For those reasons, we decided human intervention was necessary."

After traveling up to the Palmetto State and capturing the reptile, experts were able to remove the tomato cage from its head. It proved to be difficult, as the cage was located where a gator would usually be snared.

"However, after several tries, we were able to capture this 11' 2" male and safely remove the tomato cage," the UGA Coastal Ecology Lab reported. "Now that he is free, he can safely resume living his best alligator life."


It is unclear how the alligator got trapped in the metallic object to begin with. The UGA Coastal Ecology Lab posits that the gator rammed through the tomato cage while swimming through a pipe.

"This is an excellent example of why it is so important to properly dispose of your trash," the lab said.

"This is just one of many examples where an animal has had complications because of trash that was improperly disposed of."

Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort expressed gratitude to the wildlife experts who saved the gator on Facebook, and thanked them for "helping our beloved King Arthur!"

Fox News Digital reached out to the UGA Coastal Ecology Lab for comment.

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