close
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Mama crocodile stuns onlookers, lays eggs in Florida park

Mama crocodile lays eggs in front of shocked spectators at Florida park

By Web Desk
April 16, 2024
Mama crocodile scatters eggs in the open. (A mama crocodile named Ulele at Florida park. — Miami Herald)
Mama crocodile scatters eggs in the open. (A mama crocodile named Ulele at Florida park. — Miami Herald)

A mama crocodile caught everyone's attention when it laid eggs right in front of a group of onlookers at a Florida attraction. The 13-foot crocodile did not dig a nest, which is unusual, and scattered her eggs in the grass.

Gatorama staff in the 15-acre park in Palmdale were left stunned as the 13-foot crocodile named Ulele dropped dozens of eggs in the grass without bothering to make a nest, which is quite rare for American crocodiles.

According to park co-owner Patty Register, about 20 to 30 people gathered to witness this extraordinary sight, counting a total of 41 eggs, with 38 of them being deemed viable for incubation.

The unusual event happened around 10:30am on Saturday, April 13, at the park about a 130-mile drive northwest of Miami.

“Some guests came to the staff and said: ‘We think this (crocodile) is laying eggs.’ Sure enough, she was still doing it when staff got there,” Register said in a phone interview.

“I’m guessing 20 to 30 people were watching something that is extremely rare. We counted 41 eggs, but three were crushed. Thirty-eight were beautiful, and we have them in incubation.”

Now, the big question on everyone's minds is why Ulele chose this unconventional method.

Ulele has been at Gatorama since 1968 and has produced multiple broods. So, her not digging a nest was not due to inexperience. Sometimes, crocodiles shed their eggs if they sense something is wrong with them.

Conservation efforts in Florida have helped the American crocodile population grow from a few hundred to about 2,000 adults. Most are found at the southern tip of Florida.

Gatorama is home to the largest breeding colony of American crocodiles in the country, with about 200 of them, some more than 16 feet long. It is also a destination for "nuisance" crocodiles that had to be removed due to living too close to humans.