Gumbo the American Alligator

American Alligator crocodile gator reptile-show reptile-family reptacular animal-show

Scientific Name: Alligator Mississippiensis

Status: Threatened

Gumbo's Story: Gumbo was confiscated by California Department of Fish and Wildlife as all crocodilians are illegal in the state of California. Unfortunately this is all too often an occurrence as people buy them as babies for less than $100 and illegally transport them across state lines. 

Facts: Alligators can grow over 12 feet long and can weigh up to 500 pounds! In the wild, they can live over 50 years of age. Alligators and crocodiles can easily be confused, however, they each have their own unique characteristics. Alligators have a wider snout compared to the more narrow snout of the crocodile. Alligators have pits in the upper jaw so their teeth are hidden when their mouths are closed compared to the teeth of crocodiles that remain visible. Alligators are also the top predator in the marshlands feeding on almost anything including mammals, birds, fish, insects, crustaceans, and even turtles.

Range: American Alligators are found throughout the southeastern part of the United States from Florida upward to the Carolinas and eastward to Texas.

Conservation: Over one million alligators were killed for their hides in the state of Florida alone from 1930 to 1940. Thankfully, the American Alligator has been federally protected since 1967 and were removed from the endangered species list in 1987. Today it is estimated that over 4 million American Alligators live in the United States.

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