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Alligator Adventure claims to let visitors come “face to face with nature’s fiercest and most beautiful animals”. But, what they don’t reveal is the true horror that being an alligator there entails. From overcrowding to abuse to separating alligator babies from their mothers too early, this “adventure” park is a nightmare.

The roadside zoo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is ranked number fourteen out of the top things to do in the area and sees a large number of visitors every year. Open for 25 years, they have over 800 alligators and 230 different species of other animals, ranging from lizards to lemurs, on their 15-acre property. None of these animals are safe.

The alligators that live here are crammed into tight enclosures, much smaller than they would need in the wild, where they have to battle for food. During these fights for survival, the alligators are hit with large wooden sticks by employees to break them up. Among the tortured animals here, many are missing limbs and can frequently be seen covered in blood. In the past, multiple guests have documented alligators being attacked, beaten, and death rolled — the term for what alligators do to kill their prey in the wild. In one instance, one of the alligators was left with a bloody face, incapable of using their right front leg.

Source: PETA/Youtube

The sheer number of alligators at this facility has caused tourists to wonder if they’re fake. Unfortunately, the harrowing reality is that these are living, breathing creatures. This overcrowding is one of the main reasons, apart from abuse from humans, that the alligators at Alligator Adventure get injured. In the wild, it is natural for gators to fight over territory. When stuffed into these small enclosures with so many others, frequent fights break out resulting in immense damage to the alligators.

One of the most notable cases of an enclosure being too small is for one of Alligator Adventure’s main attractions: the Utan. Known as the “king of the crocs” this amazing animal is nearly 60 years old, weighs 2000 pounds, and is just over 18 feet in length. While Alligator Adventure “boasts” a 5000-foot enclosure for the large animal, that is far less than one square mile (or the size of three 10-pin bowling lanes side by side). To put this in perspective, similar saltwater crocodiles can travel up to 366 miles in just 25 days.

Additionally, in natural settings, alligator mothers typically safeguard and nurture their offspring for up to two years. Yet, in this hazardous roadside zoo, it appears that young alligators, forcibly separated from their mothers, endure the distressing practice of having their mouths taped shut for demeaning exhibitions and unsettling encounters with the public. Alligator Adventure, in pursuit of its commercial interests, deliberately severs the natural connection between mother and baby alligators.

To make matters worse, Alligator Adventure does not just abuse and overlook their alligators and utan — all of the other animals are in equally as dire situations. Their property has lizards, frogs, snakes, turtles, macaws, flamingos, owls, hyenas, bobcats, monkeys, and lemurs. According to PETA, many of these animals are kept in tiny, barren cages with little regard for their lives. The wolves on the property are often seen pacing back and forth, getting agitated with each other in the small space.

Each animal that enters Alligator Adventure is subject to life not suited for sentient beings. Alligators are abused for the sake of entertainment, stripped from their mothers too early, and put in overcrowded cages. Other animals are subject to barren enclosures that leave them with a poor quality of life.

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