If you’ve ever had the chance to visit Everglades Holiday Park, you know first hand how incredibly entertaining the alligators are. Families come from miles around to experience gliding across the River of Grass by airboat and stopping to meet with wildlife in a natural habitat. Unfortunately, the sunshine state’s most popular reptile isn’t doing so well these days. With access to food declining and weight loss rampant, gators are roaming, winding up in swimming pools, lakes and even on doorsteps. The Everglades Restoration project is a good start, but wildlife ecologists and animal lovers are still scratching their head wondering what can be done. Everglades Holiday Park is proud to be home to the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue- a safe haven for gators found in the area. Here’s how the team is working to help our friends in need.
A Troubled Future
A symbol of the Everglades, the American alligator is a sight that tourists and locals alike expect to see on a visit to the park. But with populations declining, Florida’s most iconic resident is in trouble. How do we know? The health of alligators has always been a direct reflection of the health of the Everglades overall. When they thrive, it’s a good indication that the ecosystem is thriving as well. However, biologists and scientists studying the wetlands have pointed to a problem that affects not only the gators, but all of the animals of the Everglades - a lack of water.Over the years, a variety of drainage projects created canals, levees and pumps to redirect water flow out of the Everglades to prevent flooding on the coast. While these additions have been successful, they’ve also dramatically impacted the natural flow of water and fish, which gators and other Everglades wildlife rely on. Changing the natural patterns of the water has made it more difficult for alligators to find food, prompting many of them to stray in search of a good meal.
Gator Boys Alligator Rescue: Raising Awareness
Currently, Florida law prohibits the Gator Boys from releasing rescued gators longer than 4 ft. into the wild. That’s where reserves like the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue at Everglades Holiday Park come in. When the team finds a gator who has wandered into a backyard or swimming pool, they take it back to the park so it can live peacefully among fellow gators. The Gator Boys have enormous respect for the alligators they rescue, and the conservation aspect of what they do is helping to raise awareness about the Everglades and it’s main resident, in a positive, meaningful way.
Everglades Holiday Park Gator Shows: Educational, Informative and Fun
Every airboat ride at Everglades Holiday Park comes with a complementary live gator show performed by the Gator Boys. Presentations are 15-20 minutes of crowd-pleasing fun, but also, a fantastic way to learn about the Everglades alligator. Watch the show and it’s instantly clear how beloved these creatures are. The Gator Pit at the park is a fantastic environment for housing the animals, and with unique names, personalities and quirks, they’re treated as guests. Children of all ages take delight in watching the Gator Boys perform with these majestic animals and all are welcome to a hold a baby gator after the show. This entry was posted in Everglades Holiday Park Blog,