Gator may have been injured after encounter with boat’s engine propeller
By Pilar Arias
Wildlife rescuers in Florida are asking for name suggestions for a half-mouthed alligator now in their care.
The injured animal that made national headlines has found a new home at Gatorland Orlando.
“She looks like she had a hard time,” Savannah Boan from Gatorland told FOX 35. “The trapper that actually snagged her was a gentleman named Jerry. And Jerry said he thought it might look like a propeller got her.”
The alligator avoided capture by officials for weeks after local resident Eustacia Kanter spotted her in Sanford.
“At first, my brain couldn’t comprehend that its entire upper jaw was missing,” Kanter told FOX 35. “When I realized, I felt terrible for him and snapped as good a photo as I could get with my cell phone standing at a distance so that I could share it and try to find help.”
Kanter contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and an environmental conservation nonprofit in hopes they would help find and rescue the gator.
The alligator appears to be four to five years old and will be kept on a special diet while away from other animals for a while. Gatorland believes it lived in the wild without half its jaw for at least six months, likely eating snails and frogs.
The gator may have ended up in its unique physical state after encountering a boat’s engine propeller.
“Alligators and crocodiles are amazing survivors,” Boan said about the ancient species. “They can survive almost anything.”
The unnamed gator will eventually be kept with other alligators in the park.
“She’s a little bit skinny, but she looks to be pretty healthy and feisty, and we’re going to heal her up, we’re going to have our vet take a look at her, and she’s going to be great,” Boan said.
Those with name suggestions for the unique-looking gator should chime in on the park’s social media.