From storm drains to golf courses, we've all seen alligators in weird places on the news and, for some of you, probably in your own backyard. But... what about getting up close to them in a fun and safe way? This year, we've added a new and long awaited experience here at Wild Florida... a gator encounter! On the blog, we'll go over four things that could happen during your Gator Encounter at our place.
1. You'll see our alligators catch some serious air
During your gator encounter, you'll have two opportunities to feed some of the alligators in our Gator Pond. One way via our gator feeding pole and the other via a string pulley system. Using a long wooden pole, we'll attach our gators' favorite snack to the end of the pole, and you'll be able to feed the gators that venture onto the sand bank. Then, after our gator handler helps you tie a piece of chicken to our pulley system, you'll be able to string our gators' favorite food out into the middle of our Gator Pond... where the fun will really begin! With more than 100 rescued and native gators at Wild Florida, they'll each try to grab a bite. Using their powerful tails, you'll be able to see them project their bodies up and out of the water, chomping down on the piece of chicken.
2. Try your hand at feeding Bonecrusher
Out of all the gators living in our Gator Pond, Bonecrusher is the king. Measuring over 14 feet in length and weighing over 1,000 pounds, it will be hard to miss him. As one of our oldest alligators, he loves to be fed by guests and to hear the "ooos" and "ahs" that follow. During our gator encounter, you'll be asked to ring a bell that tells all of our alligators, "It's lunch time!" After that, you'll have the perfect opportunity to see one of giant gators up close and personal and might even have a chance to feed the king himself.
3. Ask our animal trainers anything you want
If you've ever wanted to know how powerful an alligator's bite is or have any other gator related questions you're dying to ask, our gator encounter is the perfect time for you to take full advantage of all the knowledge our trainers have on our alligators. You will have at least one trainer in the crow's nest with you and your family during your gator encounter, and he or she will be happy to answer any and all of your questions. There is a lot to learn about these animals, and our trainers are a great resource when it comes to all of the animals in our park.
4. There's a 99.9% chance you'll get to hear a gator hiss
While alligators don't have vocal cords, that doesn't necessarily mean they're not able to make any sounds. As you're feeding our alligators, you'll notice more than one trying to go after the piece of meat you're feeding them. As their way of showing dominance, and telling other alligators to "back off" and step away from the meat, they might let out a long, shallow hiss. Most people say it sounds like something they've heard from Jurassic Park but you'll have to hear it for yourself to see if they're right!
The theme parks and beaches are certainly must dos when you visit Florida, but hanging out with alligators in Florida will be one of the more memorable moments from your trip. If you're eager to experience any, or all, of the things we mentioned above, now is the perfect time to book a gator encounter at our place! From now through the end of 2017, we're offering everyone FREE admission to our Gator and Wildlife Park. So make sure to plan on hanging out with us for a few hours before your gator encounter to visit over 200 native and exotic animals that live in our Gator and Wildlife Park.