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Torrential rain frees zoo’s half-ton gator

Sat., Sept. 18, 2004

GULF SHORES, Ala. – A 14-foot alligator named Chucky and eight other gators escaped a zoo amid the flooding of Hurricane Ivan, and workers were searching for the reptiles Friday.

The half-ton Chucky was believed to be somewhere around the zoo or in water that feeds a coastal state park, and general manager Kate Ramon said it could take down even a large man.

“We keep Chucky well fed, so he’s normally not dangerous. But he’s out now and he’s dangerous,” she said.

The alligators apparently got over zoo barriers when its ponds overflowed during Ivan’s torrential rain Thursday.

Ramon said the coastal ponds and bayous of the Gulf Shores area are “covered up” with alligators, but few are as big as Chucky.

Zoo workers on Thursday killed a small alligator that had escaped a pond.


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