Jawlene's journey: Alligator missing half of jaw adapting to new life at Gatorland

After almost three months, an alligator missing half its jaw is well on its way to recovery with a new life at Gatorland.

"Jawlene" became a viral sensation after she was spotted in Sanford.

The young alligator was underweight from not being able to eat very well.

Now, she has gained about two pounds.

"We offered her shrimp, she wasn’t interested in that," said Savannah Boan, the international ambassador for Gatorland Global. "We offered her pork. Pork, she seems to like a lot. Chicken, she seems to like a lot. She did not like scallops."

While she's still isolated from other gators, Jawlene is still getting plenty of human attention and gets to run around outside.


In the next few weeks, Gatorland is hoping to put her out with some other alligators, starting with much smaller ones.

"Alligators aren’t normally social creatures," Boan said. "They are here at Gatorland, and we don’t know how she’ll do with that, but we’ll put her in with some really small alligators, and that way she doesn’t have to worry about getting hurt."

Gatorland says this is an important example of their mission to rescue the animals.

"She’s doing great, and she’s thriving," Boan said. "And just because she doesn’t have that top jaw doesn’t mean that she’s not going to live a really happy, healthy life here at Gatorland."

After a recent veterinary visit, Gatorland learned that Jawlene has worms.

They say that's typical for wild gators, but she will need to finish treatment before swimming with the others.