NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Seventeen American alligators and one caiman travelling from Toronto Canada, arrived at Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach on Tuesday as part of an international alligator rescue.
The alligator rescue was a joint effort involving five different organizations from Canada and the US and took four days to complete, according to a news release from Alligator Adventure.
Since the Ontario zoo is presently inundated with numerous alligators, crocodiles and caiman that are at risk of having to be euthanized, Little Ray's Reptile Zoo decided it would incur the expense of moving this first group to insure their safety at an enormous cost.
The Ontario SPCA also held a fundraising campaign to help with costs and the public donated funds as well.
According to the release, when funds become available there will be at least two more shipments of alligators, caiman, and crocodiles coming to the US.
A member of Little Ray's Reptile Zoo and a member of the Ontario SPCA accompanied the reptiles on their flights and followed them to the Palmetto State.
"It's been an eight month process, just for the permitting, but the end result and everything is as beautiful as we hoped it would be," Matt Korhonen, Little Ray's Reptile Zoo Co-Owner said.
Little Ray's Reptile Zoo in Ontario delivered the crates, ranging from three to ten feet in length, to Air Canada in Toronto. Air Canada then flew the animals nonstop to Los Angeles, where they cleared Customs and were then transported by the Phoenix Herpetological Society to their Scottsdale facility. Then two Alligator Adventure employees transported the reptiles to their facility in North Myrtle Beach, the release states.
Alligator Adventure is a 15-acre reptile zoo located beside Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach.
Alligator Adventure is celebrating their 20th year anniversary.