Naturalists at the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium in Fort Myers got quite a surprise when they arrived at work last Sunday… 18 baby alligators. The 9-inch-long newly-hatched reptiles were swimming in a pond - inside the center’s large alligator enclosure. An adult female & her mate have lived at the center since 1991 – after the Babcock Ranch donated them. They’ve gone through mating rituals during that time – including building & guarding a nest – but have never produced offspring. Education Naturalist - Kim Pierce – says at least a few of the babies will become part of an education program.
“We will not be able to keep all 18 of them here…I’m still working out what we can legally do with all of them. But as for now all 18 of them are here, and some of them will wind up staying here…which is nice, because we can talk about how alligators develop over time. And then show the offspring of the ones we’ve had here for so long.”
The center offers a program called “Understanding Alligators for Your Safety!” every day at noon.
Friday, 23 September 2005 01:00