Florida 'Gator

Florida 'Gator


  • Florida 'Gator

Published Date

  • published 1940


of those is at Daytona Beach, known as "the largest alligator farm in the
world." Here are alligators ranging in age from six days to 600 years old,
and weighing from two or three ounces to 1000 pounds. Also here is a
pink-eyed albino alligator, a freak of nature, the only one of its kind ever
known to be captured in the United States. It is normal in every way except
its color-a strange white and light-orange which was evidently caused
before hatching by its failure to develop pigment cells in its skin.

Because of their value as a tourist attraction, some counties in the
State are adopting laws for the protection of the alligator. There are still
several places where they may be seen in their native habitant. One of these
is the Tomoka river in Volusia county near Daytona Beach. Tourist
excursion boats are operated on the river and as many as 26 alligators were
reported seen on one trip; some floating or swimming and others basking in
the warm sun on the banks, closely resembling palmetto logs.

Alligators are timid by nature. At the approach of a boat, or any
unaccustomed sound, they immediately submerge while those on the banks
slither quietly into the water or crawl out of sight. However, when
attacked, they defend themselves viciously, and on shore rush at their
enemies with open mouth, jaws snapping, and their powerful tails-most
effective weapons of defense-thrashing wildly from side to side.

"Alligator steak," more commonly known as "alligator tail," is
considered a delicacy by many. Taken from these portions along both sides
of the tail, the meat is white and similar to a tenderloin steak in shape.
There is a popular superstition among Negroes that boiled alligator tail,