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Australian Reptile Park Keepers Help Save Alligator Eggs

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: January 5, 2022 8:15 pm

Australian Reptile Park Alligator Eggs

Australian Reptile Park keepers with one of the American alligators during the nest raids

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

Last week keepers at the Australian Reptile Park undertook the highly dangerous task of removing the eggs of an American alligator from their nest to save their lives. Ally deposited her eggs on Boxing day along the shores of the lake which provides a home to 55 American alligators.

Staff put themselves between the alligators and eggs as they were removed from the nest. This year the danger was increased as 20 new male alligators joined the group in March 2021.

Head Keeper at the Australian Reptile Park Daniel Rumsey said “After relaxing over Christmas, there’s nothing that gets your heart racing again quite like Alligator nest raiding! We do this every year and all of the keepers love getting muddy and helping save the baby alligators from what could be a potentially dangerous situation with Australia’s heat, and larger cannibalistic adult alligators”.

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As the nest raiding process begins keepers will wrangle and restrain the alligator. They then remove the eggs from the nest. Mother alligators are highly maternal and are keen to guard their eggs.

The nest raids are essential to the survival of the alligator eggs. The species is native to the swamps and wetlands of the South-East United States. These eggs would perish in the hot climates in Australia. Instead they are incubated for 70 days artificially.

They will also be safe from another threat faced by wild alligators, cannibalism. It is common for adults to feed on juvenile alligators.

Commenting on the process Daniel Rumsey added, “One slightly off step out of place can cost you, so we are very careful to follow a well-thought-out plan and ensure the protective mother is well restrained and doing okay herself. Once we let her go, we also monitor her for the rest of the day to ensure she has not been distressed. This year with the additional large males to the lagoon, we had a few more female alligators looking to be gravid (holding eggs) than usual, so it could be a busy summer for us."

Learn more about American Alligators here – American Alligator Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Australian Reptile Park on their website – Australian Reptile Park

Australian Reptile Park Alligator Eggs

Keepers gather eggs from the nest of an American Alligator at the Australian Reptile Park

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

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