University of Florida Gators
burns Gatorland; 2 snakes, 2 crocs likely killed
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) --
A fire early Monday destroyed a section
of the venerable Gatorland tourist attraction,
likely killing four animals. Among the charred
areas was its main entrance, a huge concrete
The blaze, reported at 5:55 a.m., badly
damaged the gift shop, entrance and ticket
Fire takes over the entrace
Gatorland's alligators were
believed to have hidden safely in a lake,
but the fire may have claimed two crocodiles
and two 8-foot pythons kept in a pen near
the gift shop, said Tim Williams, the
park's director of media production.
The park opened in 1949
and attracts about 400,000 tourists each
year. It features people wrestling gators,
a "jumparoo" show where the
big reptiles leap for food, and up-close
encounters where guests can hold snakes,
scorpions, spiders and birds. In all,
Gatorland has a few thousand animals,
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