Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Which Alligator is the Wild One?

And I don’t mean which one likes to party more; I’m saying, which of these two alligators is an alligator that is not in captivity? You can’t tell by proximity to the camera, now, can you? No, you can’t. That’s because this March I visited Florida, whose state motto is: “So Many Things To Devour You!”

Mind you, I’m happy that there are wild alligators out there, thriving as best they can in spite of the invasion of exotic species like pythons, which prey on the alligators’ young. (The python invasion was caused by irresponsible people releasing their pets when they tired of them.) The part that disturbs me is seeing them in tiny little ditches right off the side of the highway. This seems to me like poor city planning—don’t you think? I mean, you get a flat tire, you go out to change it, you get eaten. I bet AAA won’t even provide roadside assistance in cases like that.

To be fair, I did not get eaten by an alligator while in Florida, nor did any of the alligators I saw seem particular interested in eating anyone (of course, they probably don’t, right up until they do). One did seem pretty interested in a moorhen, however, and the moorhen seemed more than a little worried about the attention:

[is it me, or does the alligator look like it’s smiling?]

But I am still very happy that I only visited Florida and that I live in an area where the only alligators I’ll see are behind very secure fencing (which reminds me: the one in the lower photo is the one at the zoo).

After all, they’re adaptable, these crocodilians. One of these days, one of them might learn how to disguise itself as a AAA service person.

[“Please wait; someone will be with you shortly…”]

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