Alligators are not always as dangerous as they are thought to be. These descendants of the actual giants can definitely be tamed.
With good care and efforts, people can enjoy a peaceful encounter with a trained alligators. It has been found that there are more alligators per square yard in Everglades, Florida than any other part in the world.
The estimated number of these alligators in Florida alone is around 1.5 million. The video below gives a brief idea on how easy it is to maintain mutual distance with these creatures under captivity.
Facts about alligators:
- Alligators are known for their wide range of diet which includes birds, snails, deer and several other species of mammals.
- Alligators are basically divided into two different species: the American and the Chinese alligator.
- According to data collected by the Smithsonian National Zoo, an average American Alligator can live in the wild up to 50 years or so.
- To what is normally thought of alligators to be human hunters, these animals are quite shy and tend to live a solitary life. They only attack when provoked or when they feel threatened for their eggs or young.
- Alligators have giant tongue which they cannot move. In order to swallow, they need to raise their head.
- Although they look slow and lazy, these reptiles are known to have reached top speeds of 20 mph.
- A unique trend confined to only a few reptiles that determines the sex of embryos is the temperature at which they are being incubated. For alligators, incubation temperature over 930F results in male embryo, while temperature below 860F will lead to a young female.
Alligators in Everglades National Park
Established in December 6, 1947, the Everglades National Park has come to be known as the third largest national park in the lower 48 states of USA. The park is located in the state of Florida and covers 20% of the original Everglades.
This National Park, along with only two others of its kind has been named in all the lists; International Biosphere Reserve, Wetland of International Importance and the World Heritage Site. Spread across an area of 6 10 484 ha, Everglades National Park is of immense importance to both the ecosystem as well as the wildlife thriving in it.
The park covers the largest mangrove ecosystem in the entire western hemisphere, shelters about 40 threatened or protected species and functions as a prominent breeding ground for tropic wading birds. Years of excessive water consumption from the Okeechobee Lake, that happens to be the only sustainable source of water to support the fragile ecosystem, led to the degradation of Everglades region.
After many years of restoration and protection of wildlife, the park has finally become a primary attraction of several animals. Some of the main featured animals of the park are alligators, panthers, white-tailed deer and southern bald eagles. As for what may not be evident, alligators play an important role in maintaining a balanced biosphere in the remote regions of everglades.
They burrow into the mud during summers which acts as pools of water where fishes and amphibians survive till the water lasts. Several viewing points and trails laid across the park allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and animals that live harmoniously with each other. Webcams located in various points of the park capture live images and upload them into the park’s website.
There are moments when alligators are sited on the webcam hunting or leisurely spending time on the pool. Conservation and protection of wildlife is of utmost importance to the park. And by streaming live images of various species of animals present in the park, researchers attempt to draw the attention of viewers to critical issue such as extinction and loss of ecosystem.
Alligators in Naples Zoo
Naples Zoo is a 43 acre wide facility located in Naples, Florida. More formally known as the Naples Zoo of Caribbean Gardens, the zoo was established back in September 1969.
Accredited by some of the prominent associations such as the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and the AAZK (American Association of Zoo keepers), the zoo has played an important role over the years by establishing a proper balanced ecosystem. Around 70 species of animals are sheltered in this facility, although not all can be put for display at the same time.
A trail loop of 1 mile long goes round the zoo and takes visitors along the botanical gardens and several other exhibits. A few of the main featured animals in the zoo are the American Alligators, Black leopards, Fossas and lions. A manmade lake serves as a passage for the island located inside the zoo facility. All primates of the zoos are featured in this island.
Visitors interested to take a look at the primate exhibits can take the Primate Expedition Cruise. American Alligators are large crocodilian reptiles that are extensively found in the south-eastern region of United States. Male grow to an average length of 4.2 m while females grow to a length of 3m or so. The alligators in Naples Zoo can be found leisurely swimming in the lake.
Visitors can get a better look of these reptiles when they come out during feeding sessions. Webcams are placed in several prime points in the lake overlooking the lake shore. These videos are streamed online to a live audience who can tune in any time to take a look at the alligators of Naples Zoo.
Conservationists and other activists suggest this as a good initiative to get users attention to the important issue of protection of endangered species. Feeding time may vary sometimes but the hour of operation is fixed from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
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