Gators moved into Riverquarium - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gators moved into Riverquarium

August 31, 2004

Albany -- The Flint Riverquarium holds it's grand opening in three more days, and the last minute preparations continue. Friday morning the two newest members of the exhibit moved in, Elliot and Shelia the alligators.

Out of the swampy marsh at Chehaw, and into the shiny new Flint Riverquarium.. General Curator Richard Brown said "He's a little upset with us. But he will calm down."

This was move in day for these two gators. Senior Aquarist John Magyar said "It's a lot of fun, good opportunity to handle an animal in such close proximity."

Close is right. Shelia, an 80-pound 6 year old female and Elliot, a 40 pound 5 foot male were caught at Chehaw, taped up for safety, and loaded into an S.U.V.

 Elliot was taken in first and released, but he was a little shy about going into the water. Shelia, larger but more docile, was then introduced to her new home. Brown said "No people , no animals got hurt.

The animals are on display. They are exploring their new home. Everything went real well, and I'm real happy."

 The two gators are sectioned off from the main part of the blue hole, so visitors will get a good close look. Brown said "You can come up and count the teeth and count the scales."

Magyar said "I think people will really enjoy them."

Elliot and Shelia get aquatinted with their new home, and you can see them yourself starting Friday at the Flint Riverquarium.

Richard Brown said that the gators will be well fed, and that will keep them from eating too many of the fish in their exhibit.  But occasionally they may catch a slow fish that gets too close.

posted at 3:47 PM by jimw@walb.com

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