close
Thursday December 07, 2023

Alligator with missing jaw given an interesting name after capture

The alligator was found earlier last month in Seminole County and was later taken by Gatorland

By Web Desk
October 01, 2023
In this still taken from a video released on September 16, 2023, shows a jawless alligator. — Facebook/Gatorland Orlando
In this still taken from a video released on September 16, 2023, shows a jawless alligator. — Facebook/Gatorland Orlando

An alligator in Florida who had a missing upper jaw went viral on social media attracting attention from thousands of users and later was named after a country song according to a wildlife preserve in Orlando.

The reptile was named "Jawlene," after the Dolly Parton song "Jolene," as was asked to pitch in names on social media.

The alligator was found earlier last month in Seminole County. It was later taken by Gatorland, a theme park and wildlife preserve in Orlando.

In an online request to help decide the critter’s name, the park urged netizens online to suggest the name of a 3-to-4-year-old female weighing about 18 pounds.

CEO of Gatorland Mark McHugh while speaking in a video posted on Facebook said that the name was chosen due to the hit tune, which is on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

"This little gator is an absolute treasure, we are so in love with her, but another American treasure is Dolly Parton," McHugh said, adding that "one of the names that kind of rung really clear with us and grew on us was a takeoff on one of Dolly’s famous songs, so we’re going to name this little gator, ‘Jawlene.'"

It remains unclear what caused the animal to lose its upper jaw.

"Don’t know exactly what happened. It could’ve been a number of things, could have been another alligator, maybe even a boat propeller because it’s a pretty clean injury that went across, but it sealed over, she’s been eating," Mike Hileman, a Gatorland director, told News 6.

"This isn’t the first type of alligator we have taken in with this type of injury," he continued.

"We’ve had several others and we’ve been able to keep those healthy, growing. They’re now years old and I don’t see any other reasons why this one can’t do the same thing."

The alligator attracted the attention of thousands after its photos were spread on social media, but Hileman said she is still very humble" for now.

"I mean, she’s really getting a lot of attention right now. I hope it doesn’t go to her head and become a little diva," he told WINK News.

“But right now, she’s very good, very down to Earth.”