No, I’m not talking about Florida or its sports…. I’m talking about Alligator Alley in Summerdale, Alabama.
The land has been in the family for years, but Wes Moore’s alligator farm has only been open since 2004 and is clearly a labor of love. These gators are considered ‘nuisance animals’ because they have lost their fear of humans, are deemed dangerous and though each one has a nickname and knows the sound of the dinner bell, Wes tries to give them a chance at a better life in as natural an environment as possible.
There is a boardwalk and fences that safely separate visitors from these sizable reptiles, but Wes gets right in there when it’s feeding time (which is part of the thrill) and though he’s been doing this awhile now, it’s still incredibly dangerous and is probably a good idea for me to throw in the, ‘DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME’ warning.
Among the resident gators, is “Captain Crunch”, who measures 13’2″, weighs in at a whopping 782 lbs and holds the official world record for bite force by an American Alligator at 2,982 lbs.
Alligators have been around for nearly 200 million years, but if you’ve never had the chance to get up close and/or want to learn about a fascinating species, Alligator Alley is a great place to start.
To view photos from the trip, click here.