We are all about our wet and wild gators on National Alligator Day, celebrated annually on May 29. This day was established by Wild Florida Safari Park to raise awareness of the importance of alligators to Florida’s ecosystem, as well as educate the public on all things gators. Alligators are one of the largest and most ferocious types of lizards. They have been in existence for over 35 million years, and have been living amongst the people of Florida since the state was founded. They have made their home within the area due to its natural water-bordered environment and have become key eco-tourism attractions.
History of National Alligator Day
These wet and wild creatures of the water, although from the crocodilian family, are not to be confused with their reptilian counterparts. The only place where both animals coexist is in Southern Florida, and Tamaulipas, Mexico.
If you’re thinking about where else you might find these fascinating creatures, you would like to know they are native to only three localities in the world — the United States, Mexico, and China. The first appearance of alligators can be seen 37 million years ago, however, researchers trace their existence over 20 million years earlier.
Despite a large number of alligator species, only two have not yet gone extinct. The only remaining alligator species are the American and Chinese alligators, which are also the oldest species of alligators known to science. The Chinese alligators are often smaller and lighter in weight than the American alligators, which is the main distinction between the two species.
In America, alligators can be found in some of the southeast states, such as Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, but the largest number of alligators are located in Louisiana and Florida, with over a million in each state. Floridians can also be accredited with finding the name alligator, as the first settlers in the state anglicized the word from the Spanish term for ‘the lizard.’
The only airboat, gator, and drive-through safari attraction in Florida is called Wild Florida. It was founded more than ten years ago to enable Floridians and guests to experience the state’s wild side. Their gator park, which has a variety of wildlife in addition to alligators, airboat tours, and drive-through safari are their main draws. They also founded National Alligator Day and National Airboat Day to spread awareness about these issues.
National Alligator Day timeline
The first appearance of alligators is recorded around this time.
The American alligator is split from the Chinese alligators.
Wild Florida airboats, gator park, and drive-thru safari is established.
National Alligator Day is established by Wild Florida and registered.
National Alligator Day FAQs
How long do alligators grow?
Alligators typically continue to grow throughout their lifetime, with the average-sized male alligator growing up to 14 feet, however, this is a standard measurement. Some alligators get even longer, with the largest ever recorded being 19.2 feet in Lousiana. Chinese alligators are usually smaller in size, growing up to seven feet in length.
Why do alligators’ eyes glow in the dark?
Just like cats, alligators have a unique structure in their eyes that allow them to glow in the dark. This is caused by the reflection of light within their visual system to improve night vision. This way it is easy for them to navigate, find, and hunt their prey.
What is the life span of an alligator?
Scientists have not been able to determine the average lifespan of an alligator. Some of the oldest alligators to be recorded are Saturn, an American alligator who passed away in 2020 and lived up to the ripe age of 83 or 84, and Muja, another American alligator currently residing in Belgrade Zoo in Serbia, and well into its eighties. The latter is considered the oldest alligator living in captivity.
National Alligator Day Activities
Visit a gator park
Name a better reason and day to visit a gator park, we’ll wait. National Alligator Day is the ideal excuse to visit an alligator park or reserve, and we're confident you won't think of anything better. The easiest approach to find out if there's a gator park nearby is to do some research. As we already mentioned, alligators are typically located in the southeast states of America, Mexico, or China. Make plans to visit the nearest park with your family and friends.
Learn more about alligators
We have only been able to touch on the history and facts about alligators, but there is still so much to be discovered. Use this day to learn all you can about them by doing some thorough research. You will never know what interesting facts there are to be found until you go searching.
Hop on an airboat
Airboats are the easiest and most interesting way to get the closest you can to these wild reptiles. Discover airboat facilities around you and make sure you get on one before this holiday is over, and remember the best way to do it is with family and friends. If you are in the state of Florida, make sure you patronize the founding fathers of this holiday by making your way to Wild Florida.
5 Interesting Facts About Alligators
They can’t survive in saltwater
Unlike crocodiles, alligators cannot thrive in salty water like mangrove swamp habitats.
External factors determine genders
Male alligators develop if the nest where alligator eggs are put stays warm, while female alligators develop in the opposite situation.
They have an endless teeth supply
Alligators can house up to 75 teeth in their mouths, which get replaced when broken or worn out, and can go through up to 3,000 teeth in their lifetime.
They are loud
Alligators produce the loudest roar of all existing reptiles.
Their blood heals
Alligator blood is renowned for its antibiotic and antiviral qualities.
Why We Love National Alligator Day
It gives us a different perception
National Alligator Day was not only created to educate us more about alligators, but this day also highlights the importance of alligators to the state of Florida. This allows us to have a different perspective of these wild animals and appreciate their ecotourism quality.
It’s a wild holiday
Alligators are among the wildest of animals, therefore National Alligator Day is among the wildest and craziest of celebrations. On this day, we have the exceptional chance to embrace our wild side and get a little wet in the process.
It’s an adventurous holiday
This holiday is not only wild, but it is also one bursting with adventurous opportunities. This occasion allows us to take on a more adventurous side of life in the ways it is celebrated. This day gives us the finest opportunity to partake in airboat rides, gator parks, and safaris, all of which are highly enjoyable and engaging activities.
National Alligator Day dates