There are certain species of wildlife that always appears to smile. Okay, well maybe they aren’t really smiling; but they do indeed present themselves with the look of a smile.
These gators aren’t here by chance. They were rescued by Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries & brought here for rehabilitation. Some come as orphaned babies & others like “Stumpy” in the photo below are brought here for a chance of survival. It is believed that “Stumpy” lost his paw to a snapping turtle.
Here at home, we have a little park right off the Interstate, where you can see the gators up close and personal…and you can even hold the small ones for a hands-on experience. The gators stay at the park until they are 7 years old, then they are released back into the wild.
It is actually kind of funny watching travelers come in for a visit. They are so scared to hold the baby gators. This baby gator is 2 years old. As you can see, his snout has been carefully bound with a rubber band so that he can’t accidentally bite while being held. He was quite squirmy and kept wanting to put his head on my shoulder.
An interesting thing about the gators is that as they age, the way they feel changes. When they are only 2 weeks old, they are a bit soft & smooth. By the time they are 2 years of age, they are only soft and smooth on their underbelly. I’m sure by the time they are 7 years of age, they are far more rough.
They do indeed always look like they are smiling. Maybe it’s because they know that they are one of the most feared wildlife on the bayou; or maybe they are just happy.
See you next time!