PINE BLUFF – An alligator at the Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff has escaped from its pen. Nature center personnel noticed that the alligator was missing Tuesday afternoon.
The 9-foot alligator was on display at the rear of the nature center’s main building. It escaped through two fences and is believed to be in the area’s swamp or bayou, along with native alligators.
The reptile, which was captured as it crossed a road just under a year ago, has been a popular exhibit at the nature center.
The American alligator is found from coastal North Carolina to the Florida Keys, west to southern Texas and north to southeastern Oklahoma and southern Arkansas. It is found in several Arkansas counties. Alligators frequent rivers, estuaries, swamps, marshes, oxbows and lakes.
With the arrival of warm weather, alligators begin basking in the sun and feeding. Alligators are most active at night during the hottest part of the summer, and basking in the sun is confined to early morning. While alligators thrive in hot climates, they can’t tolerate long, direct exposure to the sun. When temperatures climb into the high 90s, alligators seek shaded, wet areas or remain submerged.
AGFC personnel are searching the area. The alligator has no identifying marks or tags. The public is encouraged to not disturb alligators at any time.