Billie and I often walk through the Hidden Cypress wetland boardwalk, especially at this time of year when the baby alligators have just hatched. This week we took this route again and found to our delight a host of new babies posing with what we assumed to be their mother.
We counted five babies clustered around the mother in this family portrait, some posed in a jumble in front of her, one peeking over her nose, and one perched on her back. Not far away we found three more babies soaking up some sun in another pile, so this hatch had at least eight new gators.
We understand that young gators have a perilous existence and are in danger of being eaten by male alligators, so the female provides some security in the early part of the babies’ lives. Most, however, apparently do not survive to adulthood. And maybe that’s OK, since with litters this large we would soon be deep in alligators!