July 10, 2012 |
If you find yourself in the jaws of an alligator, fight like your life depends upon it. Because it does, says a Florida alligator expert. Frank Mazzotti, a wildlife ecology and conservation professor and alligator expert at the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center , offered up this suggestion and other tips for emerging in one piece after an admittedly unlikely encounter with an alligator. We asked Mazzotti for the advice after some unsettling news out of the Sunshine State: Two Florida residents have lost limbs to alligators in the past few weeks.
July 4, 2012 |
The 4th of July must be celebrated with a bit of patriotic music, right? But we can do better than the 1812 Overture or John Philip Sousa: Let's watch alligators singing patriotic music! This video comes to us from reptile expert and conservationist Jim Nesci . It features Nesci's gators bellowing along to country artist Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA. " We just had to call Nesci and ask: How did you train the alligators to do that? Turns out, the gators just did it on their own. Here's the back story to the video: "I happened to be down in the basement one day and I had the radio on. I cranked up 'God Bless the USA,' just because I happen to like that song," Nesci told the Los Angeles Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO On her first full day in her new home, Xiao was tentative Tuesday, but the sun finally lured her out of the pool onto the sand. Xidi was less adventuresome, preferring the water. The pair of Chinese alligators had just arrived at the San Diego Zoo from the St. Augustine (Fla.) Alligator Farm Zoological Park as part of a long-term strategy to keep the species from going extinct in the wild. The alligators are among the smallest and most endangered members of the crocodilian family.
June 25, 2012 |
On the Louisiana set of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” last summer, Jeff Galpin wasn't worried about vampires baring their fangs at the cast and crew. He had other creatures in mind. “They were filming in the bottoms of some creeks, and we made sure there were no snakes or alligators around to hurt any of the actors or extras,” said the 43-year-old swamp expert. “There were lots of snakes on that set - water moccasins, corn snakes and some king snakes. Most of the time, we just put them in a sack and walk to a different location and let them go. We try to put everything back alive like we found it.” In the Fox horror flick, which was released Friday, Honest Abe takes a violent approach to the bloodthirsty vampires plotting to overthrow the United States.
June 14, 2012 |
A Florida tour boat captain suspected of illegally feeding alligators may already have suffered the ultimate punishment: An alligator bit off his hand. Animal rights activists on Thursday denounced the decision to kill the alligator in a bid to recover the man's hand. They said the captain, who is now under investigation for feeding the animals, is to blame for teaching the fearsome creature that people = food. Wallace Weatherholt, 63, who works for Captain Doug's Everglades Tours, was taking six tourists out on the water Tuesday when he paused to give them a thrill -- and a photo op, according to WBBH of Fort Myers, Fla. He began slapping the water to attract alligators, using marshmallows as bait.
February 3, 2012 |
Swamps aren't very sexy. Dank places filled with slithering creatures don't scream tourism, unless you're from Louisiana. So how would one fare in New York City? "Swamps in Louisiana have tremendous adventure-travel opportunities," says Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. On Wednesday, he flew to un-gator-like Manhattan to oversee the installation of a 12,100-cubic-foot re-creation of a Louisiana swamp built inside the city's bustling Chelsea Market. The exhibit is free and might be a good way to sample the bayou before going to visit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2011 |
State narcotics agents raiding a Hemet pot house made a surprising find amid dozens of plants and seedlings: a 50-pound alligator. The 4-foot-long gator lived inside the home, and the owner had set up a concrete tub with water so the reptile could get wet. "He wasn't aggressive at all.... This guy was just very, very mellow," said Joel Almquist, who was summoned by authorities Monday night to take the alligator to his San Bernardino County animal sanctuary. He said he had to "kind of push the plants to the side" to reach the gator and tape its mouth closed.
February 13, 2011 |
Swamplandia! A Novel Karen Russell Alfred A. Knopf: 320 pp., $24.95 "Uh-oh. Run for your life. This girl is on fire," this reviewer wrote in these pages in 2006, when Karen Russell's unnerving collection of stories, "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves" appeared on the horizon. "Swamplandia!" (under the name "Ava Wrestles the Alligator") was a story in that collection, this novel a glimmer in the author's eye. Here it is again, but older, more mature, bigger in its novel form, like a knock-kneed teenager all grown up. "Swamplandia!"
May 29, 2010 |
Florida investigators used DNA analysis of alligator blood to arrest a Pompano Beach man on charges of alligator poaching. Mark M. Montgomery Jr., 22, was charged Thursday with illegally killing an American alligator, a felony. Alligator poaching is an old, if not particularly proud, South Florida tradition, but the use of high-tech forensics to catch the poachers is not. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began investigating in October after receiving a complaint from a man who said he saw another man kill an alligator in what appeared to be a flagrantly illegal manner.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2010 |
Reggie the alligator, the renegade reptile who eluded capture for almost two years while living in a Los Angeles city park, may well have lost his freedom, but he has now gained a girlfriend. Staff members at the Los Angeles Zoo call her Cajun Kate, and unless there's a mystery-lady gator at Lake Machado in Harbor City, she's probably Reggie's first ever female companion. Asked Sunday how Reggie was getting along with Cajun Kate, zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs said, "Good, very good."