orange county

Alligator Gifts from Gatorland

by Jamie Sanford on January 12, 2011

I really like alligators.  I found out after moving to New Jersey that people like me who grew up in Florida have a really different view of alligators than those who didn’t.  I’m not particularly scared of them – but that is because I would not put myself in a situation where I would be in danger of being attacked by an alligator.  You learn that you aren’t supposed to go swimming in lakes or play near the edge of the water, etc.  If you see one, don’t try and go pet it.  More often than not, they don’t want to be near you and if you approach one near the water, they’ll just go in the water to get away from you.

My parents now live on a lake that has a population of alligators, and I was lucky enough to visit them once when an alligator that had become a bit large was being removed to be relocated to an area with fewer human residents.  After the Fish & Wildlife guys taped the alligator’s mouth shut, they let me pet it!  It felt like a dinosaur on top and a purse on the sides.

Tarpon Springs, FL - April 2005.

The alligator was about 6-7 feet long.

Anyway, so I haven’t been able to see alligators as much while living in New Jersey, but I like to see them when I get to Florida, and one of my favorite places that I’ve been in Florida is Gatorland.  Gatorland is a giant sort of alligator farm in Orlando, near Disney World.  They have shows with jumping alligators, alligator wrestling, and such things.  When I was there, the thing I enjoyed the most was just walking around and seeing the different species of alligators and crocodiles that they have on display.  I would recommend a trip there to anyone in the Orlando area.  Wear sunscreen though – I got a sunburn on my visit.

So here’s where the gift item will be tough for some people.  I think that coming along with my understanding of alligators, is the understanding that there are A LOT of them in the south, and that they are farmed much like pigs and cows.  Also like those animals, every part of them is used, including for decor. While most people aren’t interested in owning a cow head, a taxidermied alligator head is pretty badass.  Today I will feature all of the taxidermied items from the Gatorland Gift Shop!

Everyone has someone that this would be perfect for – and the small alligator head is a deal at $20.

Get to shopping on the Gatorland Gift Shop now!

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