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Monday, 25 October 2010

Gator Aid:Alabama’s Alligator Alley gives gators a second chance - Page 2

Written by John Gifford
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Alligator Alley is a scenic and impeccably maintained park surrounded by bucolic farmland – soybean and peanut fields, and pastureland punctuated by stands of oak and pine trees. The gators reside within the park’s 20-acre cypress swamp which, excepting an elevated boardwalk, is left in its natural state.

“This is a low-impact attraction. We try to use the property wisely and we don’t want to take over the swamp,” says Moore.

Alligator Alley’s most famous resident is a 13-foot, 850-pound behemoth named Captain Crunch. Crunch was captured near Tallahassee, Florida after gaining “nuisance” status for his habit of entering backyards and devouring dogs. After his capture, a researcher from Florida State University tested the big gator’s bite, which measured an astounding 2,982 pounds – a world record for an alligator.

Along with Crunch, many other large, impressive gators are on display for visitors, with names like Prince Eric, Mighty Max, and The Colonel, which, at 900 pounds, is the park’s heaviest alligator.

“Our gators look different from farm-raised gators,” says Moore. “This is how big they get in the wild. They’re not so bad if they have plenty of space.”

But the alligators aren’t the only ones who enjoy the space. If you ask Wesley Moore, he will tell you that he is living the dream.

“My office has a fantastic view,” he says. “I love being outside and meeting the people who visit from all over the world – England, Ohio, even far-away countries like Illinois.”

If You Go

Alligator Alley

19950 County Road 71

Summerdale, AL 36580-3003

(251) 946-2483 or (866) 99-GATOR

www.gatoralleyfarm.com

Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., 7 days a week during Spring and Summer.

Seasonal feeding times: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

Adults: $10

Kids ages 4 – 12: $8

Kids 3 or younger: Free

Discounts are available for private group tours, night tours, and for field trips.

©John Gifford is a travel writer specializing in the American South. Visit him on the Web at www.john-gifford.net

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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