As a result of decreased funding for wildlife rehabilitation facilities, Florida recently designated three spring-fed lakes in Central Florida as sanctuaries for injured alligators. Lake Gertrude, located on the western end of Mount Dora, is Lake County’s designee.
Animals eligible for relocation into sanctuary lakes typically have missing limbs and other injuries caused by fighting with other alligators during mating season. Only alligators seven-and-a-half feet in length or smaller qualify for transferring into the sanctuary.
“The lakes were chosen for their high water quality which accelerates the alligators’ healing,” said Dr. Ayim Gunnaeatchu, the Florida Wildlife Management Commission’s marine biologist in charge of the sanctuary program. “Each lake’s ample food supply was another consideration in their selection.”
The Wildlife Commission will initially introduce five tagged alligators in each lake on April 1 and begin monitoring their health and behavior. The rehabilitation plan requires a monthly review of the animals’ health before adding more injured alligators to the lake. The maximum number of animals that can be introduced into each sanctuary is 22. Click here for more on this story.