Monday, January 7, 2013

Animal Profile, Bing the American Alligator

Animal Profiles are a closer look at some of the education outreach animals that are part of the Zoo's Interpretive Center.
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Bing, the American Alligator was born in the fall of 2010 and spent his early days in a civilian’s bathtub. He was then confiscated from that individual by Fish and Game because it is illegal and dangerous to have them as pets.

There are many different species of crocodile but only two species of alligator, the Chinese Alligator and American Alligator. Bing helps raise awareness about legal and illegal pets and how pet owners can make informed decisions. Due to recent hurricanes and disasters American Alligators are not doing well in the wild. They are generalists for food, meaning they will eat anything, but are specialists for habitat and the water they reside in. When those waters are polluted or changed in any way they have a difficult time surviving.

Bing is very calm and does not mind being touched. He will grow about a foot a year and will lose his baby yellow by about the age of five, by which time he will be solid black. When Bing becomes too big for his home at the Sacramento Zoo he will move to another Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facility and may one day be released into the wild.

Photo by Mike Owyang

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