Tick-Tock  (American alligator)

            Alligator mississippiensis

 

The American alligator is the largest reptile in North America.  The body coloration is generally black with yellowish or cream cross bands, but with age, the coloration fades.  Alligators when awakened or threatened let out a menacing hiss.  They can grow to almost 20 feet.  They live in fresh or brackish bodies of water.  They naturally occur from the coastal areas of southern North Carolina around Florida and as far as Texas.  Their numbers were much reduced because of the value of their hides.  The young often appear in pet stores in those states where alligators are legal—California is not one of those states.

 

Tick-Tock was brought to Critter Creek by a Fish and Game warden who discovered it in the back of a pick-up truck.  The warden had caught the man with buckets of crawdads.  The warden asked him what he planned to do with so many crawdads.  He said he needed them to feed his reptiles and invited the warden to see his alligator.  We were contacted by the department to hold the alligator as evidence.  Once the court case was settled, we became Tick-Tock’s permanent home.  He has grown considerably over the past seven years and we hope to provide him a larger enclosure.  He is one of our popular destinations for pre-teen boys who love to hear him hiss.

 

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