At the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society’s Alligator Alley dedication last Saturday, guests were invited to get up close and personal with Fred and Wilma, the American alligators when the Palm Beach Zoo opened the renovated viewing area. The first in a series of redesigned and re-imagined habitats for the current Florida Region exhibit, the new, up close, viewing platform, provides a panoramic view of the lush habitat our alligators call home.
The public helped dedicate this new exhibit on August 22nd between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and they met and greeted two of their juvenile alligators, Cypress and Myakka. There we crafts, games and giveaways in the Fountain Plaza and the 10:30 a.m. Storytime featured “Three Little Gators” by children’s author, Helen Ketteman.
The dedication of the renovated viewing area of the Alligator Alley at the Palm Beach Zoo included a ribbon “untying” ceremony with the ribbon to be recycled for future use, in keeping with the Zoo’s sustainability mission and also a special Zoo Keeper Talk. Zoo Keepers and selected member guests provided special enrichment for the alligators.
With hundreds of guests who joined the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society’s staff, the event helped raise awareness of the plight of these fascinating reptiles threatened by habitat loss and sea level rise.
The Zoo’s just completed renovations include the all new Keeper Talk & Presentation Platform, 360 degree viewing of the Alligator Habitat and an off-exhibit Alligator Holding Area. This project has been made possible by long time donors, Michele & Howard Kessler. Their generous support has helped continue to provide quality care for Fred, a 12.5-foot long male and his mate, 8-foot long Wilma, both born in 1988.
“Thanks to the Kessler Family’s generous support, the alligators not only have more room to roam, and a peaceful holding yard when work is being done on their exhibit, and our guests have improved views in and around the exhibit,” said Jan Steele, general curator for the Zoo. “This has enabled us to increase our alligator keeper talks to a daily schedule so our guests can get up close and personal with Fred and Wilma.”
Native to Florida, the American alligator is an example of a species that has recovered thanks to careful management and conservation efforts. By the middle of the 20th century, American alligator populations were severely depleted and in 1967, were listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act. The Palm Beach Zoo is proud to be a part of this effort and continue to educate and inform people about these magnificent creatures.
Watch an alligator training video at the Palm Beach Zoo Alligator Alley
The Zoological Society of the Palm Beaches exists to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world. We advance our conservation mission through endangered species propagation, education and support of conservation initiatives in the field. Our commitment to sustainable business practices elevates our capacity to inspire others.
The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is located at 1301 Summit Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, visit www.palmbeachzoo.org.
Alligator Alley at the Palm Beach Zoo Gets Guests Up Close and Personal. Get to Know Details of the Renovated Viewing Area of the Alligator Alley at the Zoo