Florida Alligator Stuck in Pond with Her Mouth Taped Shut Is Rescued and Freed After 2 Months

Alligator with snout taped shut trapped in Florida pond
Alligator with snout taped shut trapped in Florida pond

Fox 13 Tampa Bay

A rescue alligator is finally breathing easy, thanks to concerned Florida locals.

According to Fox 13, a worried resident of Hillsborough County, Florida, reached out to the station in February to raise awareness about an alligator caught in her community.

Amber Lock told Fox 13 on Feb. 12 that there was an alligator with its mouth taped shut living in her community's retention pond and that the animal had been there in that condition since December.

"Whoever attempted to trap him and put the tape around his mouth clearly lost him, and that's what started this," Lock said, adding that she had tried to find other solutions for rescuing the gator before contacting the news station.

"This animal has been suffering for two months, and that's just unacceptable," she added.

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After speaking with her homeowners' association, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), several alligator trappers, and Fox 13, Lock finally saw a happy ending to her alligator rescue campaign.

FWC officials from the agency's State Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) recently removed the alligator from the retention pond, untaped its mouth, and relocated the animal to Gatorama, a family-run alligator park and farm in Palmdale, Fox 13 reported on Feb. 17.

At Gatorama, the female alligator received the name Georgie. The reptile and her new caretakers are focused on a smooth recovery.

"She is doing well so far and will be offered a feeding as soon as the day warms up," Ben Register, general manager at Gatorama, said about Georgie in a statement. "Even though she probably won't eat for a few days due to the stress of being moved and the ordeal she has been through."

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Georgie is currently "in her own exclusive pond while she becomes acclimated to her surroundings and resumes a regular feeding schedule," according to the alligator park. Once Georgie regains her strength and can compete for food, Gatorama hopes to move the animal into their main gator habitat so she can spend time with other alligators.

"Gatorama is home to many nuisance alligators. We work cooperatively with the trapper so they don't have to kill the alligators. In fact, the trapper that brought Georgie has even made a special trailer for the gators he brings to us so that he doesn't have to tape their mouths closed while he brings them to us," Gatorama shared in a release about Georgie's arrival.

Florida residents who spot an alligator they feel could be in danger or could be a danger to humans should call FWC's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).