Gatorland announces first gator hatchlings of the season

ORLANDO, Fla. — Every day, more and more gator hatchlings are emerging at Gatorland.

The theme park announced its first American Alligator hatchlings of the season on Monday.

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“We are head over heels in love with our new baby alligators,” said Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland, in a statement. “It is nothing less than amazing to see them hatch, breaking out of their shells with their little egg tooth and sticking their snouts out.”

The theme park said American Alligators at Gatorland mate naturally from April through June and lay their eggs in nests under brush and bushy areas beside lakes in the park. The gators typically lay between 35 to 40 eggs, which take 60 to 65 days to hatch.

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Officials said the babies, which are called grunts until they are one year old, are five to six inches long when they are born and are kept in a special area out of public view until they can eat a meal or two on their own.

About six weeks after they are born, they get to live in their own resort at Gatorland’s Baby Gator Swamp with other baby gators and turtles.

Photos: Gatorland announces first gator hatchlings of the season

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.