Fire burns Gatorland; 2 snakes, 2 crocs likely killed - FaunaClassifieds
 Sponsors »  Breeders | Dealers |  Importers/Exporters | Caging | Feed | Supplies | Services | Events 
  Inside FaunaClassifieds » Product Reviews |  Classifieds!   | Photo Gallery   | Banner Advertising 
  Want to help keep this site alive? Click here.

Go Back   FaunaClassifieds > Reptile & Amphibian - General Discussion Forums > Herps In The News


Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-06-2006, 02:34 PM   #1
Fire 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 alligator mouth.

The blaze, reported at 5:55 a.m., badly damaged the gift shop, entrance and ticket booth.

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, Williams estimated.

"This park is like an old alligator. Gators fight, they get scarred up, they get beat up, they tear each other up, but they're resilient," Williams said. "This park's been here for 57 years. We're not going anywhere."

The giant concrete gator head that serves as the main entrance was charred, its formerly white teeth blackened with soot, its mouth full of debris. The mural facade around it, which had just been given a fresh coat of paint in a $1.5 million overhaul, was torn and burned.

Fire crews were still extinguishing the smoldering three-alarm blaze late Monday morning, but park officials said they hoped to be back in operation as quickly as possible.

Williams said it would be months before everything was back to normal. The park was working on plans to get guests back in. The shows could still be staged, he said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Old 11-06-2006, 06:47 PM   #2
Wow I remember Gatorland. My mom still has a pic of me when I was 12 holding a baby gator. I loved that place and plan on when we take my daughter to Florida to go there. Hope they get back on their feet quickly.
Old 11-08-2006, 05:26 AM   #3
It's a shame what happened.
Glad that it wasn't worse.
Old 11-08-2006, 06:13 AM   #4
A Few Pics

Old 11-08-2006, 06:14 AM   #5

Old 11-08-2006, 06:14 AM   #6
Old 11-08-2006, 10:44 PM   #7
Post Heating pad for snakes blamed for sparking Gatorland fire

By Beth Kassab
Orlando Sentinel
Posted November 8 2006, 2:02 PM EST

ORLANDO -- A reptile heading pad in the snake exhibit caused the fire that destroyed Gatorland's main entrance, gift shop and some offices, the state fire marshal said today.
Monday's fire was ruled accidental, State Fire Marshal Det. Bill Newman said.
The conclusion was reached based on evidence in the fire rubble that was traced to the snake exhibit where two pythons died. One dwarf crocodile also was killed the blaze reported at 5:55 a.m. Monday.
Newman said the fire in the Orange County attraction raged out of control so quickly because the building was mostly made of wood and because of the amount of clothing and other fire fuel in the gift shop.
"The debris pile was at least 3 to 5 feet high," Newman said of the scene.
Gatorland's owners have vowed to reopen on Nov. 22.
Old 11-09-2006, 08:37 AM   #8
This is the second fire in the news in a month due to reptile heating failures.

As I said before, I'll state the obvious.

Check your heat tape, check the insulation and electrical plugs and make sure they are in good condition, no frayed, loose or exposed wires, secure heat lamps so they can not fall over. Use power strips not extension cords if you can; if you must use an extension cord use the heavy type not the cheap flat kind. Use common sense, if you don't have any ask someone who does.

Make sure your circuits are not over loaded and your home owners insurance is paid up. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and maybe we should all put a smoke detector in our snake rooms. I have a snake room in the basement but I don't have a smoke detector in the basement, I think I'll put a detector in my snake room. After I check all of the above.
Old 11-16-2006, 07:30 AM   #9

Gatorland Set to Reopen Nov. 24

Thursday, November 16, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. — The reopening of Gatorland, the 57-year-old attraction damaged by fire, has been pushed back to Nov. 24, park officials said.

Guests will use an alternate entrance rather than the park's trademark giant alligator mouth entrance that was charred in the three-alarm fire Nov 6.

"The construction would've been completed, but in order to handle our guests safely and efficiently from the new entrance, I believe we needed another day to work out our operations,"said Gatorland President and Chief Executive Officer Mark McHugh.

A crocodile and two pythons were killed in the blaze, but no people were injured. The fire ruined Gatorland's 7,000-square-foot gift shop and some administrative offices, but did not damage food service or stage areas.

A faulty reptile heating device caused the fire, investigators said.

The park is one of central Florida's oldest attractions. It features alligator wrestling shows and exhibitions where visitors can touch and hold reptiles and snakes.

Join now to reply to this thread or open new ones for your questions & comments! is the largest online community about Reptile & Amphibians, Snakes, Lizards and number one classifieds service with thousands of ads to look for. Registration is open to everyone and FREE. Click Here to Register!


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Den site destroyed - all snakes killed SPJ General Herp Talk 18 01-09-2009 07:15 PM
Man Tries to Take Crocs, Snakes on Plane TheFragginDragon Herps In The News 0 08-12-2007 11:13 AM
Fire expels124 snakes, scores of other animals kmurphy Herps In The News 1 04-13-2007 08:19 PM
Florida - Fire caused by lamps for pet snakes Clay Davenport Herps In The News 0 08-22-2006 12:45 AM
FIRE at home, herps killed. Stephen Barger Board of Inquiry® 18 05-28-2002 03:27 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:42 PM.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Fauna Top Sites

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Page generated in 0.06739712 seconds with 10 queries
Content copyrighted ©2002-2018, FaunaClassifieds, LLC