The arrival matched the hype! Big Padre’s arrival to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, and now also the Alligator Sanctuary, was an event for the ages on May 11.
Gator Country set out on a mission from its Beaumont, Texas, park and sanctuary with 50 juvenile alligators. Among them was Big Padre and his companion Laguna. At 9 a.m., the trucks and trailers entered the center’s parking lot to an eruption of both cheers and applause.
A highlight of the afternoon was a 90-minute educational program by Gary and Shannon Saurage and their team from Gator Country Alligator Farm. The biggest take away was to not feed alligators, especially Big Padre and Laguna. The two eldest alligators have a special diet in their enclosure while under the management of professional wildlife conservationists.
The secure habitats for SPI’s newest residents are just off the balcony where visitors can see these beautiful reptiles.