You have to feel sorry for alligators who have to live in New Mexico. They really couldn’t make it through our cold winters if it wasn’t for artificially heated water for them to swim in.
Take, for example, Wally, the Clovis Zoo’s long-time resident American Alligator. Last month, Wally’s heated pool became a little too chilly when the heating element for his pond inside his pen malfunctioned and a winter storm was on the way to the Clovis area.
The Clovis Fire Department was summoned to help rescue the chilly Wally. At first, they tried to lure him out of his pen by offering him whole defrosted chickens and dead rabbits — his usual mealtime snack. But as Zoo Director Lisa Fox noted, Wally was too cold and “had no interest in food.”
The next plan was to use brute strength to move the several hundred pound reptile. Fox gingerly placed a lasso around his head and then summoned the firemen to tug the critter to a warmer location in a nearby heated shed.
“This was our only alternative,” Fox said. “to get our hands on him and do it.”
While Wally is enjoying his warmer temporary headquarters, a new heating unit has been placed on order so he can eventually enjoy his old digs again.
And hopefully, his appetite for raw chicken and dead rabbits has returned.