Whatever happened to your dad’s alligator?

Published 4:02pm Tuesday, November 13, 2012

“Come with me,” said my dad. “I think I know the best way to do with it so that neither one of us will get hurt.”

They went into the large well-house and one-car garage in back of the family residence and removed a large storage box that was used to hold wheat. Luckily, it was empty during the summer. They brought the large box, upside down, to the front yard and very carefully dropped it over the alligator, making it impossible to move in any direction.

Pushing on the sides of the box, the alligator would move beneath it, and they were able to slowly get the box-covered critter to the side yard.

What to do with the critter, dad thought. He certainly didn’t want to keep it for a pet. Besides it was too big to stay put in the box if it were turned right side up again. He could feed it a chicken or a piece of beef, but how would he give it necessary water?

He thought over the situation the rest of the day and overnight. The next day, he contacted David Meeks in the Inman area, to see if he would like to add the alligator to his collection of animals. David did, and sent a truck with two assistants to bring the critter to his menagerie.

After noting the condition of the leg with a missing foot, it was determined that the alligator probably had been chained by that foot and had lost it when escaping the shackle. More than likely, the critter had been poached and was being carried, chained, in an open truck bed when it made its escape dropping out of the truck onto the highway.

The alligator joined two others at David’s animal farm, a small menagerie, which has grown into a vast Hollywild Animal Park that is widely known throughout the United States and the world today.

I’m not schooled in the life spans of alligators, but if you’re reading this, and decide to visit Hollywild and its magnificent display of holiday lights this season, you might pause at the amphibian pond and see if one of the alligators is missing a foot.

If so, say “Hi” for my dad.

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