Gatorland welcomes first set of Nile crocodile hatchlings in two years!
GATORLAND may be known as the Alligator Capital of the World, but today park officials welcomed 19 Nile crocodile hatchlings, the first set of hatchlings born at the park in more than two years.
“All appear to be extremely healthy and they will certainly enhance and increase the Nile crocodile population we currently have in the park which is ten,” said Gatorland’s Park Director Mike Hileman.
The incubation period of Nile crocodile eggs lasts approximately 90 days. Gatorland officials keep the temperature of the incubator at precisely 90 degrees to ensure an equal division of sexes.
“Any hotter and the hatchlings would be born primarily male; any cooler and we would end up with mostly female hatchlings,” Hileman added.
Gatorland currently has a population of 32 crocodiles ranging from Caimans to Cubans, Niles and American and African Dwarf crocodiles. Hunted close to extinction in the 1940s through 1960s, local and international protections have helped Nile crocodiles rebound in most areas. Crocodiles have roamed the earth since the age of dinosaurs and have changed little in the past several million years.
In approximately one to two months, Gatorland’s Nile babies will be transferred to several small aquariums throughout the park for the public’s viewing pleasure. In captivity, adult Niles can grow up to 20-feet in length, weigh up to 1,000 pounds and can live up to 80 years.
Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve, combining “Old Florida” charm with exciting new exhibits and entertainment. The park opened as a roadside attraction in 1949. Today, it provides affordably-priced family fun featuring thousands of alligators, crocodiles, a free flight aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, educational wildlife programs, Gatorland award-winning gift shop, Florida’s best train ride, restaurant, Gator Gully Splash Park and one-of-a-kind shows including the Gator Wrestlin’ Show, Gator Jumparoo, and the ‘Up-Close Encounter’ shows. And don’t miss the world’s largest collection of giant white alligators in the new White Gator Swamp and the all new Screamin’ Gator Zip Line featuring over 1,200 feet of high flying thrills, five intense zip lines and a massive 150-foot suspension bridge. For more information about “Orlando’s only theme park with BITE and ATTITUDE,” visit us online at www.gatorland.com or call 800-393-JAWS. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gatorland. Follow us on Twitter @gatorland.
I am a lucky girl because I tend to get a LOT of visitors now that I live here in Florida, and I hardly ever have to brave the epic cold of New Hampshire! My parents visit at least once a year and we always look for new and fun things to do when they do visit. While we usually have a day at Disney and we have also gone to Sea World, but this year I decided to take my parents to Gatorland! I have not been since I was a wee little mocha princess and figured my parents would get a kick out of it! Especially my father who is TOTALLY AFRAID of Alligators!
Gatorland is so much more than just alligators at a price that doesn’t put a strain on your vacation experience!
At 110- acres, Gatorland provides affordable-priced family fun with thousands of alligators & crocodiles to see, an aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, award-winning gift shop and one-of-a-kind reptilian shows including the Gator Wrestlin’ Show, Gator Jumparoo and the Up-close Encounters Show.
Take a ride on the Gatorland Express train and then head on over to Gator Gully Splash Park where kids of all ages can enjoy a good ol’ fashion squirtfest!
Don’t miss the new rare white alligators on display for a limited engagement at Gatorland’s newest exhibit, White Gator Swamp. Featuring four of the world’s largest white leucistic alligators known to roam the planet, these giant Ivory colored reptiles are each ten to twelve feet in length and weigh over 800 pounds. Their piercing blue eyes are believed to have the ability to command good fortune to those lucky enough to make eye contact with the blue eyed beauties.
So after a great family Breakfast at Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, it was time to head down Orange Blossom Trail to Gatorland!
We were right on time for the Gator Jumparoo Show. This was a total riot! We saw Rednecks throwing raw meat at Gators trying to get them to jump out of the water… what was there not to like?
We then got to feed the HUGE Turtles a snack. I am beyond amazed that I got to feed a thousand pound turtle some carrots! Dean was one of the most gentle creatures I have ever met but BOY was he strong! In fact, the whole family got to feed him and that was a total highlight!
We went down the walking path and saw the little habitats that had small rattler snakes, cobras, and other kinds of snakes. We were sad to learn that while we walked past the Bird Aviary was closed (side note: I was NOT sad.. I HATE BIRDS, they scare the bananas out of me) so we trucked along to see the white alligators THESE THINGS CREEP ME OUT! They are all white/yellow skinned and have bright blue eyes… totally creepy. They are from Louisiana and as far as I am concerned, they can stay there!
All over the property they have habitats housing some HUGE Gators that have come from all over the USA to live at Gatorland. With names like Toxic and their bios stating that they come from neighborhoods where they were known for eating lots of dogs, I can understand why they were housed in their own sections. These Gators are NO joke!!!!
Before we went into the Gator Trail, we stopped by the cart to buy our Gator Food (which was really hot dogs) so we could feed some gators!!!! When you start walking around the river you see a few gators here and there, but when you feed the first one that they all come out of the woodwork. These HUGE gators move so fast for just a piece of hot dog. I don’t doubt that they are well fed, but they LOVE them some hot dogs! Watching these 8 and 9 foot gators come across the pond quite fast and seeing them snap and bite about 5 feet down, if it was even that far, for a piece of hot dog….. it was almost like being on Survivor. My dad was a tosser of the pieces and I was more of a throw down at them, because they they would react and snap at each other and make noise 🙂 So awesome!
After feeding the Gators we took the train around the property towards the Gatorland Wrestlin’ show! We were lucky to catch the last show of the day, We saw the guy pin a gator down, hold im with just his chin 10 different ways and put a gator to sleep with the slightest touch! The best part was the end of the show when they asked if anyone in the audience wanted to sit on a gator and get their picture taken! My Husband James Threw up 10 bucks for my father to do it! The same Father who is deathly afraid of gators. My Dad did the big kid thing and went down and got in line. To listen to him tell the story he “Wrassled that 35 foot gator to the ground who weighted at LEAST 4500 pounds and held him down with his brute strength” In all actuality, he knelt over a 7 foot alligator whose mouth was taped shut and smiled for a camera. I am still proud of him!
After the show ended we walked towards the exit looking at all the pools of baby gators and some of their turtle friends while still being really sad that the bird habitat had closed for the day 😉 This was a THOROUGHLY enjoyable day at Gatorland and we didn’t even take advantage of everything Gatorland had to offer. We didn’t go to the petting zoo or the bird aviary or the splash park or the Zip Line Adventure. I would recommend a day at Gatorland to ANYONE who hasn’t been! Kids and Adults both will love it! Please check out their website www.Gatorland.com to take a look at their offerings and map. They also offer all sorts of education packages and even Birthday Parties!
A BIG HUGE Thanks to my Friend Stacey who treated my family and I to a day at Gatorland! We had a blast and will TOTALLY visit again!