American alligators, feeding time

The American alligators on display at the National Aquarium’s DC venue are very popular with visitors, especially during feeding time!

Through a partnership with the Savoie alligator farm in Lousianna, the National Aquarium receives several alligators to raise for a few years, until they out grow the alligator habitat at the Aquarium. The alligators are then taken back to Louisiana and released into the wild to help regulate the populations that were once deminishing.  In the video below, Ryan Dumas, a herpetologist, introduces the American alligator, and explains the process of feeding the alligators within in the exhibit.


5 Responses to “American alligators, feeding time”

  1. 1 Meghan November 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I think that is soooo cool!!! But I think you should make it more soo that they have to fight more for it other than that coooooollll!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂

  2. 2 B Vann November 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    This is a nice arrangement. The folks in Baltimore get to enjoy the alligators and the alligators then go back to Louisiana when they’re too big for the exhibit. I doubt though that they are “released into the wild” as stated here. Mostly because the numbers are no longer “dwindling.” I suspect they are used as the cash crop for which they are intended. There’s nothing wrong with this. Alligators are harvested for food, hide, and novelty items. So why not include this information in your article? I’m from Louisiana. I can tell you, these aren’t being released into the wild. And Savoie is well known for their Cajun smoked alligator.

    • 3 National Aquarium November 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

      Thanks for the comment. It is part of our loan agreement with Savoie that these animals are never put into the farm production for meat or skins. By law the farm needs to release a certain percentage of their young alligators every year and the alligators that we raise go into that quotient. Additionally, our staff was on-site to ensure that the animals were released. Although we support the alligator farm for its role in the preservation of alligator populations, we do not condone the use of any of our animal residents for food or leather, and so our loan agreement was set-up under those terms.

  3. 4 jonathan November 4, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    thank you for sending these emails to me. you are the best ever and if you could send more. and you are nice.

    yoanr friend

  4. 5 Sophia December 7, 2009 at 1:53 am

    I love reptiles and this was a cool video for me to know about how the feeding works for these reptiles at the National Aquarium! I also like the idea of having a target to train them in their feeding. I hear something similar being used for lions in The Bronx Zoo but it was more so used to get the lions to lift their bodies so that shots could be administered on their underside. Is this technique used for the alligators too? Or is medicine administered through other means? Also, you said that the alligators dont need to eat often (only 4-5 times a week) but how many pounds of food do they eat in one sitting?

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