American Alligator ~
American alligators range from Texas to Florida and north through the coastal plain 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 an American conservation success story. The American alligator was provided conservation protection in 1967 due to the threat of extinction of the species in the southeastern U.S. due to 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 as well as state wildlife agencies in the alligator’s range enabled populations of the American alligator to grow to a sustainable enough number by 1987 that the species was removed from the endangered species list!
At the zoo we care for three American alligators, Luna, the albino alligator in the zoo’s main building; and two juvenile alligators, Oscar and Stevie, who are cared for in habitats out of guest viewing areas and participate in outreach programs with local schools and camps. We feed the alligators thawed, frozen rats or mice of various sizes depending upon the size of the alligator as well as special zoo crocodilian diet pellets.
Adoption Information Coming Soon.