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Alligator recaptured after using flood waters to say ‘see ya later’

Fiona Killman, February 24, 2022 7:00PM Kids News

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Keepers foiled the alligator’s escape bid during torrential rain at the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast. Picture: Australian Reptile Park media_cameraKeepers foiled the alligator’s escape bid during torrential rain at the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast. Picture: Australian Reptile Park

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A massive American alligator’s bid to use rising flood waters for a daring escape has been foiled by a fence and some brave park keepers.

With the NSW Central Coast inundated* with torrential rain on February 22, the alligator used the extra depth to swim over internal fencing and out of its enclosure at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby.

But it wasn’t able to flee the park when it became stuck between two fences, sparking a risky relocation mission.

media_cameraLuckily the alligator’s escape bid was halted by a fence but keepers still faced the challenge of getting him back into his enclosure. Picture: Australian Reptile Park

Keepers had to move fast to wrangle* the alligator and get it back over the fence to join the 55 other alligators in the park’s lagoon.

“You never really know the temperament* of an alligator, so although this guy was pretty happy to be relocated, we have to be prepared for him to change his mind at any stage,” head reptile keeper Jake Meney said.

Gator Relocation at The Australian Reptile Park

“This dangerous task was heightened even more by the torrential* rain that did not let up, making the ground and the gator incredibly slippery.”

Mr Meney said the keepers found the alligator in a tricky spot before the park opened.

“Although there was no danger of him breaching* the main boundary fence near visitors, there was still no way he would have been able to get back into the lagoon on his own,” he said.

media_cameraMotorists become stranded in flash flooding on the NSW Central Coast on February 22, 2022.

The wild weather also caused torrents* of water through the park as its waterfalls and creeks overflowed.

Emergency services performed multiple rescues across the Central Coast as vehicles were trapped in high waters. A local high school also had to be evacuated.

media_cameraA Bureau of Meteorology map shows rain and thunderstorm warnings for the NSW Central Coast on February 22, 2022.

GLOSSARY

  • inundated: flooded
  • wrangle: to grasp and manoeuvre something
  • temperament: the nature or state of mind of a person or animal
  • torrential: falling rapidly and in a large quantity
  • breaching: breaking through
  • torrents: sudden and large flows

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. What wildlife park is the alligator from?
  2. Where in NSW is the wildlife park located?
  3. How many alligators live in the lagoon at this wildlife park?
  4. Where did the alligator get stuck before he was relocated by keepers?
  5. Why did the torrential rain make the relocation even more dangerous?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Rewrite the story
Imagine that you are one of the other alligators in the lagoon. Rewrite this story from their point of view.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

2. Extension
Write a job advertisement for the head reptile keeper at the Australian Reptile Park. Your advertisement must include a list of the skills and personal qualities that are needed. Use information in the story to help you.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

VCOP ACTIVITY
Adjectives
An adjective is a describing word. They are often found describing a noun. To start with look at the words before the nouns.

Search for all the adjectives you can find in the article

Did you find any repeat adjectives or are they all different?

Extension:
Pick three of your favourite adjectives from the text and put them in your own sentences to show other ways to use them.

Have you used any in your writing?

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