ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - We keep hearing the phrase "we’re all in this together" and it’s holding true, even for the gators.
“It’s a challenge feeding all these mouths,” said Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland.
Feeding Gatorland’s 2,500 alligators and crocodiles is a tough task usually, but especially right now.
McHugh says the meat supply is running low.
“We’re having a hard time finding enough food,” McHugh said.
Gatorland is looking all over the state for steak.
“If you go into your grocery store right now, there’s not a lot of meat in the freezers and in the aisles, so it’s tough finding the meat,” he said.
Gatorland is turning to new distributors that charge more.
The park being shuttered due to COVID-19 is not helping the bottom line.
Visitors aren’t purchasing food to feed the gators, usually a popular guest experience.
“When the park is open we have, you know, we’ve got 2-3,000 people any given day, with about half a dozen opportunities to feed our animals, so our animals are used to getting fed by all our park guests every day,” McHugh said.
Gatorland is now responsible for all meals: 3,000 pounds of meat per week.
“We’re gonna take care of them and it’s an honor and a responsibility we take seriously,” McHugh said.
Because the last thing anybody wants is a hungry gator.
“If you don’t feed these alligators, they get hangry,” he said.