Mighty Mike visits the Adventure Aquarium
CAMDEN, NJ - February 7, 2012 (WPVI) -- A generation ago, alligators were on the endangered species list. But thanks to intense intervention, they've bounced back from the brink of extinction. Perhaps the best evidence is that really large American alligators are being found in the wild once again.
In fact, enough exist down in Florida that the state has a control program to think the population when they get too large. But even those people were impresses a dozen years ago when they came upon "Mighty Mike", a 14-foot gator they captured off a South Florida dock.
Under Florida law, he should have been killed. But given his impressive size, the team found him a home at a preserve instead. And in recent years, "Mike" has been on national tour.
Right now, he's at Adventure Aquarium in Camden. It's one thing to say that an alligator is 14 feet long and weighs about 800 pounds. But those statistics really don't sink in until you see Mike up close and personal.
He's free to see with your regular admission.
Unlike a lot of the aquarium's animals, you never get into the enclosure with Mike. Alligators aren't in any way friendly to humans. They're probably afraid of us, but you wouldn't want to take any chances.
Mike likes raw meat of any description but his favorite seems to be bone-in pork shoulder.
For the most part, Mike doesn't do anything to entertain his visitors. He just lies there in the enclosure. But if you're lucky, he might move his massive jaws or swipe his enormous tail.
Mike's size makes it unlikely that you'll ever see another alligator this large again.
Adventure Aquarium is at the foot of Federal Street on the Camden waterfront; open every day from 10:00am to 5:00pm.
For more information, phone 856-365-3300, or access Adventure Aquarium.
animals, camden, new jersey, local/state
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