Everglades Airboat Tours and The Gator Boys on Pinterest
My boys are HUGE fans of the Animal Planet show Gator Boys. When planning this summer’s travels they requested we head south to Ft Lauderdale, FL to see the Gator Boys live in action at the Everglades Holiday Park! And what an amazing trip it was.
Shortly after arriving at the park, we took an hour air boat ride with Captain Rich on the Tazmanian Devil. He was a fantastic captain who had lots of fun jokes and told us a myriad of information about the everglades and its inhabitants.
We learned that while it looks as though there are lily pads all throughout the everglades, they are not are actually lily pads. While you will see lily pads sporadically in the water, what grows most commonly in the everglades are spatter docks. They have heart shaped leaves and bloom a yellow flower. But, don’t touch the spatter docks! A very tiny beetle lives in and around the flower. And if you touch this tiny little beetle it will lay eggs on your skin. Captain Rich zipped us fast on the air boat through the canals and grass until we arrived at Vulcher Island. The island can be home to almost 400 birds a night. The vulchers feed on many things in the everglades, turtles being one of them. When they have had their fill of turtle they discard the shells among the island.
Of course, we saw alligators on our airboat ride. One fact I never knew about alligators is that they establish their “area” and never leave. Typically they stay their established space until death or trumped by a larger alligator.
We rode along Jesse’s trail, which can has depths as shallow as 1 ft, and saw a purple gallinule, or more commonly referred to a swamp chicken. The purple gallinule was hysterical to watchrunning across the spatter docks and into the grass beds. Their little legs went so fast and yet they were so graceful.
We were mesmerized by the scenery all the information it seemed the airboat ride ended shortly after it began.We couldn’t believe our hour had come to an end! Next time we would like to venture out on a longer tour. There was so much see and explore.
After disembarking the airboat we took a short walk to watch the live gator show. The boys were eager to see which member of the team would be working with the gators. They were absolutely elated when they saw Ashley was our performing trainer.
Upon starting the show, she explained that the park only uses nuisance gators in their show. The alligators captured by the gator boy team are brought back to the park for evaluation and “rehabilitation.” JJ is the biggest gator in the park weighing in at 450 lbs. and is 10 ft. long. He can hold his breath for up to 6 hours!
Ashley handled the alligators with precision and ease. I am sure her background as a professional big cat trainer helped her to work so well with the reptiles! It was absolutely amazing to see her touch and move them without hesitation or fear. They handle the alligators similarly to how the Native Americans did in the past. Did you know that Native Americanshand captured and brought back alligators alive to their tribe? WOW!
Overall we had a fabulous time at the Everglades Holiday Park. The airboat ride was intriguing and fun. We learned so much about the Florida ecosystem. The alligator show was THE BEST. The boys loved meeting a celebrity and holding an alligator. Our trip to the park was a memorable time for us all!
EVERGLADES HOLIDAY PARK
Are you interested in going to Everglades Holiday Park located right outside of Ft Lauderdale, FL? The park is open and hosting airboat tours and gator shows 7 days a week from 9am -5pm. Ticket prices and more information can be found on their web page at www.evergladesholidaypark.com.