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Wild Florida Tests Community Leaders Knowledge of Alligators During Annual Gator Week

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Photo Courtesy of Herman Sandoval/Experience Kissimmee

By Mari Brooks

During its third annual “Gator Week” Wild Florida hosted a Jeopardy-style game for local community leaders to test their knowledge of alligators.

On May 10, Co-Owner of Wild Florida, Sam Haught hosted the game and quizzed Experience Kissimmee’s Vice President of Business Applications & Insights Jason Holic, City of St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell, Osceola County School District Superintendent Debra Pace, School Board Members Ricky Booth (District 5), Clarence Thacker (District 4), and Kelvin Soto (District 2). Before the event, Ricky Booth stated that he felt very confident compared to some of his fellow board members, although he might be jinxing himself by saying so. Debra Pace shared that she studied for the event beforehand and was prepared, as Kelvin Soto seemed less confident advising he had just Googled some information and was excited to learn more.

The contestants had the following categories to choose from: Crocs. vs Gators, 6th Sense, All About Gators, Scary Stats and Comforting Stats. Some interesting facts that were shared were:

  • the going rate for live alligators in Central Florida is $100 per foot
  • there were 8,139 nuisance gators removed from Florida in 2018 (with Orlando being the city with the highest number)
  • alligators have 80 teeth and will have 2000-3000 over a lifetime
  • Lake George in Volusia County has the most alligators in Florida with Lake Kissimmee at number 2
  • there were 23 fatal alligator attacks in Florida since 1948 and 401 bites

Mayor Nathan Blackwell and Jason Holic were tied for first place when entering the final Double Jeopardy round. Blackwell won the competition with the final question of the longest recorded gator in Florida according to Florida Fish and Wildlife which is 14′ 3.5″. Blackwell was awarded annual passes to the park for winning the competition.

Wild Florida, located at 3301 Cypress Creek Road in Kenansville, Florida, offers over 200 animals on display, animal shows and encounters, airboat tours, a restaurant and even venue spacing to hold your next event at. Wild Florida is also scheduled to open a new drive thru Safari Park this summer. For groups, tickets and further information please visit wildfl.com or call 407-957-3135.