Gatorland CEO: If a gator’s in your pool, ‘it ain’t one of ours’

McHugh
TWITTER
Mark McHugh is shown at Gatorland, a theme park and wildlife preserve south of Orlando.

BY MARCO SANTANA
ORLANDO SENTINEL/TNS

ORLANDO – If you are wandering around Central Florida after Hurricane Dorian passes and come across an alligator, it didn’t come from Gatorland. 

The attraction’s CEO Mark McHugh posted a video on Aug. 31 on Facebook that assured area residents that the park had been working to secure their animals — which include hundreds of birds, some bobcats and panthers — in anticipation of the approaching storm.

The video had racked up more than 46,000 views since it was posted early Saturday evening.

“Rest assured, if you see an alligator swimming down your street or sitting in your pool, it ain’t one of ours,” McHugh says in the video on the company’s Facebook page, which has more than 200,000 likes. 

Not their ‘first rodeo’

The park’s alligators will likely ride out any storm that comes through Central Florida underwater, with an occasional trip to the surface to grab some air. 

Meanwhile, park staff were to stay at Gatorland during the storm, ready to assess and repair damage to the park once winds drop below tropical-storm levels. 

As for the gators, these storms are nothing new for them, McHugh said in the video. 

“They have been around for 75 million years,” he said. “It ain’t their first rodeo with a nasty storm.”

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