We promised more details on the hunt for this monster and caught up with Harkins this past month to ask him about it. He says he and his PH, Mark Element of Matapula Hunters, were on their way to do some tigerfishing when Element spotted the leviathan on an island in the middle of the Zambezi River. "As the animal crashed into the water and disappeared, he said to forget about fishing, that this was the largest crocodile he had ever seen and that I had to shoot it," says Harkins.
He says they passed on by the island and landed their boat to let their tracker out, who promptly climbed a nearby hill overlooking the river to try and see the crocodile. He quickly spotted it submerged in shallow water among some reeds. Once they knew where the reptile was hiding, Harkins and Element got back in the boat and landed on the opposite side of the island from where the crocodile was. Harkins says they stalked up from behind the animal, and he shot it at a distance of only 10 to 12 yards.
Once the animal stopped thrashing, Harkins says they discovered it was so big that he and Element could not pull it out of the water by themselves. Luckily, he says a group of seven fishermen came along and helped them drag it up on land. Even then, he says, they could not get the beast into their inflatable riverboat without partially deflating it. Harkins says the animal weighed between 1,700 and 1,800 pounds, and had a girth wide enough that a large man could not wrap his arms around........(continued)