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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Sad News as Chester, Gatorland's first Rescue Alligator passes away

Sad news from Gatorland here in Orlando, as the park have revealed that Chester, their first rescue alligator has died.

The popular gator, who had a reputation for being cranky, was 13 and a half feet long and weighed in at 1,000 pounds, died on December 7 last year following from what is believed to be an intestinal blockage.

As Chester was a rescue it's not know just how old he was, but the park believe he was around 60 years old.

Chester dies at Gatorland Orlando

Chesters life at Gatorland began in 2002, when he was captured near Tampa due to him losing his natural fear of humans, and a few unfortunate incidents of him eating family pets.

Gatorland president and CEO Mark McHugh tells the story in a tribute video released on social media, “About 20 years ago, all the human development, starting building houses and shopping centers around Chester’s neck of the woods, well, that’s where the trouble started,”

McHugh continued “We’re pretty sure the people in the neighborhood there started feeding Chester in the pond he lived in. Although they were well-intentioned, they were actually conditioning Chester to think that people are food and everything around people is also food."

This is when Gatorland stepped in to prevent Chester from being trapped and killed.

Gatorland asked the state if they could capture the gator and look after him within their attraction, and fortunately the state agreed to this, allowing Chester to live out the rest of his life here in Orlando at Gatorland.

"His unique character and personality made him a truly remarkable alligator," Gartorland said in a news release today, noting the two-decade relationship Chester had with his care team there, including with the park's director Mike Hileman, who was there the day the gator arrived.

You can check out Gatorland's tribute video to Chester “The BIG Dog Eater” here, he really was quite the character and will be missed. Condolences to everyone at Gatorland.


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