Alligator With Only Half a Face Doing Well at New Home
It's not the kind of story you hear about every day, but it's a good one. An alligator that got hit only has half of its mouth according to Fox News.
In fact, Gatorland in Florida says that it's the top half of the female alligator's jaw that is just gone.
In addition to taking weeks to find this young female alligator, Gatorland says they needed time to name their new friend. They have dubbed her, "Jawlene", and her new owners say she is doing well and gaining weight!
They say since she came to live at Gatorland in September the alligator has taught officials at Gatorland how she learned to eat in the wild. They are helping her adapt to her new life, and they do believe they will be able to let her live in a baby marsh by later this year.
What Happened to the Alligator?
What wildlife officials have speculated about the alligator is that she likely got her top jaw taken off by the propeller of an engine.
Eustatsia Kanter was utterly bewildered to see this alligator in this condition. Kanter told FOX 35,
At first, my brain couldn't comprehend that its entire upper jaw was missing. When I realized this, I felt terrible for him and snapped as good a photo as I could get with my cell phone standing at a distance so that I could share it and try to find help.
I can only imagine the thoughts running through Kanter's mind. My heart sank the minute I saw the first photo because I wondered how a reptile could ever survive like this, but thankfully the Gatorland folks have taken her in, and they will take good care of her.
Gatorland Global in Orlando, Florida is an organization that specifically takes care of alligators and crocodiles. The organization says as part of its mission statement that they are there to protect, conserve, and educate.
Here's a video from Gatorland Global:
And here is the story by Fox about the alligator:
Wildlife officials say that the alligator is a little skinny, but otherwise is going to be okay. They figure she survived on things like snails in order to eat.
If you are interested in finding out more about Jawlene, you can visit the social media site for Gatorland Global.
And yes, Jawlene got her name from the Dolly Parton song, "Jolene".
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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn