Everyone benefits from regular health check-ups, including the animals at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. The American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at NCARI are no exception, and they all recently received their annual physicals from the Aquariums’ veterinary team.
The exam included six exhibit alligators and two alligators that live behind the scenes and are used in educational programs. Vets checked each alligator’s eyes, ears, feet, teeth, and overall body condition, and recorded specific measurements like weight and length. Blood samples were also taken for analysis. Regular check-ups and detailed records help the aquarium’s husbandry staff and vet team maintain the long-term health and well-being of the animals in its care.
For the safety of the alligators and vets, husbandry staff held the gators in place during the exams, and in the cases of Bleu and Hallow, the two adult alligators, secured their mouths with tape. Following the exams, the alligators were back in their exhibits, and each received a tasty reward treat when they were done.