For the first time in Australian Reptile Park history, Keepers risked life and limb to feed their American Alligators a massive cow carcass on the bank of the Alligator Lagoon. With the lagoon being home to over 40 feisty alligators, this dangerous task had Keepers hearts pumping and on-lookers watched the feed in astonishment.
The Reptile Park is used to seeing Elvis the saltwater crocodile performing the world-famous death roll, but this in comparison was nothing short of spectacular. Visitors watched on as the alligators (cousins of crocodiles) performing multiple death rolls many times over – sometimes at the same time on top of each other!
This carcass feed acts as enrichment for the 40+ alligators that call the Reptile Park home as it allows the alligators to perform a naturalistic behaviour. In the wild alligators are known to track down and feast on carrion. If in habitat heavily populated with alligators, the massive reptiles will all feed on the same carcass.
Head of Reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park, Jake Meney, said “Feeding our American alligators a massive cow carcass like this has never been done before here at the Park, so this had the whole team super excited. Once we chucked the carcass in, it was crazy how quickly they swarmed onto the bank, and it wasn’t long until they were all trying to have a crack at the huge piece of meat.”
“There were a few close calls, with a few female alligators darting onto the bank to protect their nests that were right next to us. Our female alligators are still in breeding season, so entering their environment can be extremely dangerous, especially when food is involved” Mr Meney concluded.
To celebrate the summer school holidays coming to an end, the Park will be showcasing this carcass feed every day from the 27-29th January during their ‘Wild Aussie Weekend’ event. Whilst guests visit during the long weekend, they can also get up close with 8-foot animatronic dinosaurs roaming the Main Park area, along with free face painting and access to a jumping castle for the kids to enjoy.
Alligators are found in the swamps and bayous of the south-eastern USA. Wetland clearance and polluted drains and water are the main threats to alligators. They are also shot by humans quite frequently because they are seen as a danger; however, alligators are much more timid than crocodiles. Males are much larger than females reaching over 5 metres in length.
The Australian Reptile Park has the largest population of American alligators living in Australia and visitors can catch them being fed at 12:30pm during the weekends. For thrill-seeking guests that want to get close to the action, they can book an Alligator Feeding encounter. This adrenaline pumped experience gives visitors a once in a lifetime opportunity (if they dare!) to feed the giant Alligators themselves.
More information at https://www.reptilepark.com.au/experiences/animal-encounters/