Orange County

Want to name an alligator? Gatorland gives fans chance to adopt first rescue gator of the year

ORLANDO, Fla. — Gatorland announced it welcomed its first rescue alligator of 2021 through its Gatorland Global dedicated conservation program.

The 11-foot male alligator was living near Fellsmere on the Indian River near a boat ramp. Gatorland said people were illegally feeding him, causing him to lose his natural fear of humans and creating a very dangerous situation.

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“This very large gator was too close to all the activity around the boat ramp. A State of Florida nuisance alligator trapper contacted us to see if we would take him, which, of course, we said ‘Absolutely!’ He now has a safe, forever home right here at Gatorland,” said Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland. “Our team cleaned him up and released him into our 8-acre alligator breeding marsh with 130 other gators, plus birds, turtles and fish. Let’s face it, Gatorland is alligator paradise and this lucky gator just won the lotto.”

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Gatorland is giving fans a chance to adopt its newest addition. Anyone interested in adopting the gator can go to the Gatorland Facebook page and post a comment at the bottom of this video.

The park said it will draw a name from all those who posted with an interest to adopt him. The winner will get to name the alligator with an appropriate family-friendly name, receive an adoption certificate, and get free passes to come visit him, Gatorland said.

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The winner will need to provide an adoption donation of $500 that will go to fund alligator rescue and conservation work through Gatorland Global, the park said.

Gatorland Global was “established in 2018 with a mission to protect, conserve and educate, while supporting crocodilian research and conservation projects in Florida and around the world.” Dozens of nuisance alligators destined to be euthanized have been rescued by Gatorland.

Katlyn Brieskorn,

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.