Sunday, October 09, 2005

Who's for Lunch?

Little Gator

This little fella was only about 18" long nose to tail but his much bigger relatives were lurking around. Eventually stopped at a place selling gator burgers and tried one. It was like eating rubber, not recommended, and it didn't taste very nice either (a fact they try to hide by lacing the burgers with lots of pepper sauce).

Alligators are farmed in southern Florida mostly for their skin which is used to make shoes, bags, belts, wallets, hats, etc. The rest of the alligator isn't wasted and is used to make keepsakes for tourists. I spoke to the proprieter of one of the farms and he told me that farming meant that they went out into the swamp and collected newly hatched gators and moved them into a pen where they grow them up to about eight feet long.

The reason that they collect wild ones rather than breed them themselves is because it is extreemly hard to breed them in captivity and in the wild the newly hatched gators have a life expectancy measured in days. They get eaten by just about everything bigger than them in the Everglades, including other alligators.



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