American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
The origin story of Zilla the Alligator is very sad and is told when she goes to programs with us. She was rescued in the summer of 2012 with assistance of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. On her arrival, Zilla was unable to lift her head, swim, or even swallow on her own. A young Varick took it upon himself to make sure the tiny, abused gator was going to live! For weeks, Varick would force feed her, keep her warm, and he pulled her through when it looked very grim. While she is healthy today, she is stunted both mentally and physically. Alligators are perhaps the worst reptile pet that can be found in pet stores. They grow large and will be dangerous as adults. Releasing a captive reared alligator back into the wild almost never successfully works as they become so adjusted to humans for food - this creates a dangerous situation for both humans and gators in the wild. Zilla will remain with us the remainder of her life, regardless of her size. She is a special girl that teaches an important lesson on why certain species should never be sold in stores.
The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer, but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again. - William Beebe, 1906
We depend on our programs & donations to help fund the care and housing for our animals, most of which are either rescues or surrenders. We seem to be always taking in new animals that need a home or different situation, their care adds up. If you would like to help support Animal Wonders, it would be greatly appreciated. We are always in need of donations, caging material, lumber, crates, aquariums, straw, & newspapers.