Monster gator now on display at local landmark

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VENICE-- A large reptile nabbed during alligator hunting season is now on display at a local dining landmark.

On Friday, taxidermist, Eddie Vitale brought the near 13ft alligator to Snook Haven restaurant in Venice. The gator is now hanging high on a wall for all to see.

"The gator came out great. It's exciting to be able to send people to Snook Haven to look at my work," said Vitale. It took Vitale more than six months to complete.

The gator is being donated to the restaurant by the two local hunters who snagged the beast last summer. Hank Duyn and Sean Koss found the alligator just south of Snook Haven in the Myakka River.

"I think he is beautiful, which is something I never thought I would say about an alligator. He is amazing. We are happy to have him part of the Snook Haven family," said Cheri Pachota, the manager at the restaurant.

The alligator has been named, "Big Hank," after one of the hunters.