See You Later, Alligator

The Museum has four alligators. Three are on exhibit in Carolina Wildlife and one is kept off-exhibit for education programs. When the alligators get too big to handle for education (or for their exhibit), we take them back to Alligator Adventure in SC to exchange for younger (& smaller!) alligators. The ones we bring back are usually yearlings (but if we can get a hatchling, we try for that too!) Here’s a photo essay of our trip on Aug 31 to make the alligator exchange.

Animal Dept Director Sherry is all set to set out with four alligators and equipment... at 5am!
We arrived in SC and met Travis (one of the animal keepers at Alligator Adventure). Here we are unloading the van. Notice the duct tape on the containers--safety first!

The four alligators that we returned were each inspected and placed in a tank area that is used for education. This video shows one of our alligators being taken from the travel container, inspected, and released.

Home, Sweet (New) Home
As they grow, the returned alligators will move to other areas of the facility... where they will have LOTS of friends. There are over 800 alligators at Alligator Adventure!
Time to pick the new alligators to bring back to the Museum!
Sherry holds all four new alligators in one handful! That's a big difference from how we had to handle the four we returned!
All four new alligators fit in half of one of the transport containers! Ready to go to their new home.

Back at the Museum, keepers were busy cleaning out and improving the exhibit in preparation for the new alligators. The alligators will be quarantined for a month, and then we will begin to use one of them for education programs. More pics of the new residents of Carolina Wildlife soon. Come visit them!!

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