Keepers at Australian Reptile Park undertook the dangerous and mammoth task of catching and health-checking their population of American alligators before the winter season begins – and just in time for the forecast cold front to hit the east coast of Australia. With over 50 adult alligators within the Alligator Lagoon, keepers had to be on their game for the extremely dangerous process.

During the winter months, the alligators enter a state of brumation where their metabolism begins to slow down, their activity decreases, and they cease feeding due to the low water temperatures.

Head Reptile Keeper at the Australian Reptile Park, Jake Meney said “Performing a health-check on a massive adult alligator is no simple task. The process involves keepers wrangling the alligator and restraining them as they check their muscular condition, dental health and overall physical condition. There were a few close calls, but happy to report all alligators and keepers made it through the process safely!”

Mr Meney continued “Before our alligators go into their brumation period, we like to check each of them to see if there’s any health issues that need to be addressed and make sure they’re all in good condition for the cooler months.”

“Overall, this health-check was really positive. Every single alligator looks to be in really good condition as we head into the winter season, starting with the immanent cold front hitting the east coast of Australia soon” Mr Meney concluded.

The Australian Reptile Park has the largest population of American alligators living in Australia and visitors can watch them being fed during the warmer months – generally from September until April. This show is one of the highlights of visitors to the Park as they watch the alligators leaping out of the water to eat their lunch.