To The Alligator Rescue
Written by: Elizabeth Knight
When guests come to The Swamp Park one of their favorite things to do is visit with our alligators. The Swamp Park is currently home to ten American alligators located in two natural outdoor enclosures and one tank indoors. Our congregation range in age from just over one year old to approximately fifty years old and from roughly ten inches to over eight feet!
The American alligator can be found in the US from North Carolina to Texas and in slow moving rivers, marshes, ponds, lakes and swamps. About once a year you will see a news report of an alligator being removed from one of the Brunswick County beaches. While it is true alligators are freshwater reptiles they do have the ability to tolerate salt water for a brief period of time but not much more than that. Alligators do not possess a salt gland.
These freshwater dwellers are carnivorous creatures feeding on mostly birds, frogs, snails, some fish, and mammals that find themselves at the water’s edge. Our gator residents enjoy a diet of chicken and fish. Feeding time is fun time!
The Swamp Park is home to North Carolina’s only privately operated licensed and certified alligator and reptile rescue sanctuary. We work closely with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission to ensure these prehistoric beauties enjoy the leisurely life here in the swamp. All our rescued alligators were previously kept in captivity under human care and therefore cannot be released in to the wild (the only other alternative being euthanasia). Either through confiscation or surrender these fantastic gators have come to be with us and are now enjoying the good life-no bathtubs or concrete ponds for these kings and queens of the swamp.