Keepers Undertake Annual Deadly Task Of Raiding Alligator Nest For Eggs

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Keepers at the Australian Reptile Park have undertaken the highly dangerous task of raiding an alligator nest for eggs.

Home to 55 adult alligators, the process is considered extremely dangerous and certainly keeps the hearts of staff racing. Ally the female alligator laid her eggs on Boxing Day with staff unveiling the clutch of 18 eggs.

This year the danger was more intense than ever before as the Australian Reptile Park welcomes 20 new male alligators in March 2021. This brought the total of massive, deadly alligators to 55, keeping the staff on their toes more than ever before.

Head Keeper at the Australian Reptile Park Daniel Rumsey said: "After relaxing over Christmas, there's nothing that gets your heart racing again quite like Alligator nest raiding! We do this every year and all of the keepers love getting muddy and helping save the baby alligators from what could be a potentially dangerous situation with Australia's heat, and larger cannibalistic adult alligators".

The nest raiding process involves keepers wrangling the alligator, restraining her and removing the eggs from the nest. The mothers are in a high maternal state and keen to guard their eggs, making them very aggressive, hence the caution taken by the staff.

The nest raid comes with the alligator's best interests at heart. Native to swamps and wetlands in the south-east of the United States of America, the alligator's eggs won't hatch in Australia's hot climate with upcoming temperatures with the potential to reach in excess of 40 degrees celcius. The eggs removed during the nest raid will be artificially incubated and hatch in about 70 days with their sex determined by the temperature at which they are incubated.

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