American Alligator ~
American alligators range from Texas to Florida and north through the coastal plains of North Carolina. Alligators inhabit swamps, wetlands, ponds, and rivers throughout this region. They prey upon fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals in these aquatic habitats. The American alligator is an apex predator of these habitats in the southeastern U.S. and are integral to creation of burrow shelters within these habitats that eventually serve as shelter for many other species.
The American alligator is a conservation success story. It was provided conservation protection in 1967 due to the threat of extinction of the species in the southeastern U.S. because of overhunting for leather and meat, as well as loss of wetlands habitat. The protection provided for the species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies in the alligator’s range enabled populations of the American alligator to grow to a sustainable enough number that by 1987, the species was removed from the endangered species list!
We care for an albino alligator named Luna at the Good Zoo. She would not be able to survive in the wild because her lack of pigment does not allow her to camouflage from predators or sneak up on prey. Her skin also lacks protection for the sun’s rays. We feed her thawed, frozen rats or chicks, as well as special zoo crocodilian diet pellets.