Alligator Hatchling Rescue

During the summer of 2008, the third documented alligator nest at Red Slough was found in one of the main reservoirs. The mother alligator had been very protective of this nest all summer and would regularly rush onto the bank to defend it. On the afternoon of September 22, 2008, Jack Ferguson, Ouachita National Forest Technician, and David Arbour, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Technician, heard the baby alligators calling from inside the nest. David had not seen the mother alligator in more than a month and if the mother alligator was still guarding the nest, this would be her cue to open the nest and release the babies. In the hopes that the mother gator was still in the area, the decision was made to give her that night to dig open the nest. When personnel arrived the next morning, the babies were still calling from inside the nest and there was still no sign of the mother. The nest was too densely packed for the young alligators to dig themselves out and would die if not quickly released. Jack Ferguson and Robert Bastarache, District Biologist, dug into the nest to rescue the baby alligators, while David filmed the event. Twenty baby alligators were successfully dug from the nest, many still within their eggshell.

The baby alligators were transported to Dr. Tim Patton at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Dr. Patton, in cooperation with the Tishomingo Fish Hatchery, will raise the babies and conduct research on them for one to two years before releasing them back into the wild at Red Slough.

More information about the hatchling alligator rescue. An article from the Durant Daily Democrat newspaper.