The sign says "No Swimming". It's not a suggestion, it's pretty much the rule if you want to walk away with all your body parts. The water is filled with hundreds of alligators. I guess the name kind of gives it way, it's called Alligator Alley in the city of Summerdale.
Once you start walking around, you'll get to know a man named Wes Moore. This guy is a gator lover for sure and this has nothing to do with the University of Florida. "We're more of an alligator sanctuary here," Moore said. "We're like San Quinton with girls and better food." Moore's grandfather got him into alligators years ago. This land has been in the family for 70 years. Then about 7 years ago Moore decided it was time to open Alligator Alley.
This place is a combination of facts and fun. "Do they really eat people?" Moore said. "Not as much as they probably could. If they ever figure out we're not that smart and not that fast, then we've got problems." Visitors stare in disbelief during feeding time. Every once in awhile they can watch one of the big gators devour a whole pig. "You know the way an alligators teeth are set up, they have no chewing capacity whatsoever, they're designed to grab and hold and swallow whole." That quickly triggers the memory of that "No Swimming" sign.
I even got the chance to hold a baby gator. It's mouth was locked down with electrical tape. At that point I wondered if this was a brand new super sticky roll of tape, or and old one that might slowly start pulling back. The experts at Alligator Alley don't take any chances, it's fun and safe. I learned their backs are made up of strong bones, and they need about an hour of sun on their back each day to charge their batteries and have enough energy to move around.
Some of these gators can live 50 years. And this will be their final resting place. There's plenty of room, plenty of food, and some other perks. "You see that one over there," Moore said. "She's pretty hot in the gator world."
If you want to check out Alligator Alley you can call them at (251) 946-2483 or go to their website at: http://www.gatoralleyfarm.com/
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