The so-called “Whitney Point Alligator” whipped up headlines a week ago after multiple reported sightings, and the rumors turned out to be true. The young alligator will have a home at Animal Adventure Park.
“The alligator that’s been making headlines in Broome County over the past week has been captured in Whitney Point by the New York State DEC,” said Kerry Gallagher of Animal Adventure Park. “The alligator will be permanently homed” at the facility, which also houses April the Giraffe, who famously gave birth this spring.
The alligator, who’s three feet and three inches long, hasn’t yet been weighed or gendered, says Stephen Donnelly. The size means the alligator is probably an adolescent or young adult.
According to a release, a DEC team “captured the alligator Saturday afternoon behind the fairgrounds in Whitney Point.” After a quarantine period, it will become part of the permanent exhibit at Animal Adventure Park, an “interactive, educational animal park.”
Whitney Point mayor Ryan Reynolds had said last Saturday that reports of alligator sightings had been circulating on social media overnight and that morning, and the DEC “believes the reports to be true.” The area is about a half hour’s drive southeast of Ithaca.
According to the mayor, the DEC was operating on the assumption that the alligator “was once someone’s pet and was let go in the area sometime in the last month.”
“Animal education and appreciation is our top priority at Animal Adventure Park,” says park owner Jordan Patch. “We are thrilled to be able to provide this animal with a safe, appropriate environment and the home it deserves.”
Animal Aventure Park in Harpursville, near Binghamton, is open to the public, with daily hours of 10am-5pm May 13th through September 4th. Fall hours, open just Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, run September 5th to October 22nd.