Gators find sanctuary at Shallotte River Swamp Park
OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Shallotte River Swamp Park offers a number of activities for people and now it’s home to three rescued alligators. The Shallotte River Swamp Park is working with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission in order to help alligators who need a place to go.
George Howard, general manager of the Shallotte River Swamp Park, said the first alligator they got most likely was taken from a drug dealer.
“We believe one of the stories is that it came from a drug dealer’s house,” said Howard.
He said the 54-inch long American alligator was mostly likely used as a guard animal for a drug dealer in the Raleigh area. Howard said the gator was fed dog food.
“There were two I believe and one unfortunately had to get put down,” said Howard.
But this one was saved and his name is Al. Howard said he was the first gator to be introduced to the swamp park’s eco system but since then, Ally, a 24-inch long gator, and River, a baby gator, were taken in.
Rube McMullan, Shallotte River Swamp Park owner, said it isn’t just the gators that are benefiting from being at the swamp park.
“Alligators can be brought to live in this natural environment that we have here at the Shallotte River Swamp Park,” said McMullan. “The alligators, whose futures may not have been so bright, now have a place that they can live and them be here available for folks to look at them and learn about them.”
Howard said they can only take gators that have been deemed a nuisance or a rescue. He said the state has strict standards for facilities who can take in wild animals.
Howard said they also have taken in snapping turtles.