February 2, 2023


pets keep it coming

Mad Beach Alligator Center Expands to Exotic Pets

3 min read
A woman holding a lemur
Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center Normal Supervisor Jamie Barron with Whiphid, a black-and-white ruffed lemur.
Abby Baker 

When spring breakers swarm the shores of Madeira Beach, other animals – together with a displaced lemur, pigs, and tarantulas – go through their daily routines at the Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Middle. 

At first, the Center only housed juvenile alligators – and one particular tortoise. As soon as the gators access four ft, they re-property them with larger sized rescues. They even now do this, but around time the Center’s morphed into a refuge for surrendered exotic animals, most of which simply cannot be introduced into the wild. Not all – some are invasive species or wounded wildlife – but quite a few of the animals below were once animals. 

“A ton of what we do is educating men and women and probably, say, encouraging folks not to acquire a 4-foot lizard,” stated General Manager Jamie Barron. 

John’s Move Rescue is the nonprofit backing the wildlife heart. Proprietor Sonny Flynn lately announced a two acre off-web site growth in Clearwater, where she will dwelling the larger animals. 

But for now, citizens these types of as pot bellied pigs Brutus and Barley, oink and sleep from their indoor pens. In the morning, they walk on a harness, often even on the beach. In their past lifetime, the pigs had been little infants that outgrew their residences. 

These albino skunks who wouldn’t conveniently survive in the wild are inseparable, suggests Barron.
Abby Baker 

Flopsy, a domesticated rabbit, was rescued from a neglectful problem in a dorm place.

“The mammals are all up and functioning all-around in the mornings ahead of any person receives here,” explained Gulfport resident Mimi Moya. Moya’s the major caretaker of the arachnids.

Typically forgotten, but the most typical species at the centre: ball pythons. The snakes get surrendered by owners who not expecting the reptile’s sizing and repairs prices. 

The animals however have a life span still left, and frequently it is up to businesses like the Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Middle or The Florida Aquarium in Tampa to give them a home. 

The Heart is not technically a zoo, but it is certified by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Office of Agriculture, Florida Office of Environmental Protection, and the USDA. 

Fundraising and ticket gross sales preserve the Heart rolling. The Center’s declare to fame and well-known vacationer attraction is “gator pics,” where site visitors can shell out to snap a photo with compact alligators. 

“We rotate them out each individual working day so it is never ever the exact same alligator often operating,” Barron, keeping a restrained reptile, stated. “They are this sort of neat animals.” 

Guide tickets and find a lot more information at kissagator.com

A lizard sitting on a log
Invasive species that would in any other case be euthanized by the Condition of Florida reside out their lives at the Middle.
Abby Baker

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