The young alligator was found in a lake in Sanford, FL with its upper jaw completely gone.
An American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) that sustained a potentially lethal injury to its upper jaw has been taken in by Gatorland Orlando. The young alligator was found in a lake in Sanford, FL with its upper jaw completely gone. Gatorland Orlando was alerted to the presence of the alligator and was able to capture it and bring it to Gatorland Orlando.
“We are beyond blessed to be able to help this little alligator have the very best life ever here with us at Gatorland! This little lady made news around the globe due to the extent of her injury,” Gatorland Orlando wrote on its social media page. “We here at Gatorland have the most amazing staff of dedicated individuals along with our veterinarian who will be watching over her closely for the next few days concentrating on getting her to eat in a stress free environment so that she can enjoy her new forever home here in Alligator Paradise.”
The young alligator would have had a hard time surviving in the wild without her upper jaw. The folks at Gatorland Orlando speculate that the female, as yet unnamed, lost her jaw in an alligator fight or perhaps a boat propeller strike. The injury occurred a long time ago, according to Gatorland and she is now in quarantine, where the Gatorland veterinarian will examine her.
American Alligator Information
American alligators were placed on the Endangered Species List in 1967 and then removed from the list in 1987. By the 1970s, the reptile was close to extinction due to a combination of factors, including illegal hunting, the black market trade and habitat loss. The comeback of this species, which is still federally protected, was due to private farms that were regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, along with state game agencies, captive conservation breeding programs. Males of the species average around 11 to 15 feet in length, while females are smaller, at about 8.5 to 10 feet in length. They frequent subtropical and tropical freshwater bodies of water from Southern Texas to Florida to North Carolina.