Florida Alligator Marches onto Land With Surprisingly Appropriate Theme Song
Living in Louisiana, we know alligators are a thing that happens quite often. We've written about them quite a lot, and you have more than likely experienced them a time or two.
You might even enjoy hunting for gators, but there's at least one out there that you'll need The Force to take on.
Meet Darth Gator, the Florida alligator who not only knows he's an absolute beast but also knows that making an entrance is also really important on a first impression.
Darth Gator has gone viral on social media because he can be summoned onto land with a very specific piece of music - The Imperial March from the Star Wars franchise.
The imposing march toward the trainer, who is holding a phone that is playing the piece of music, might be enough to frighten the average person, but Darth Gator clearly knows that this music means food. Watch his reaction when the music stops.
It's a great big ol' toothy smile.
I mean it. Really look at him. He's so excited.
Anyway, Darth Gator has clearly been trained to respond to the music. He approaches the source of the sound when the Imperial March plays and he stops when it stops, waiting patiently with that big ol' toothy grin, and he gets fed.
The gator's trainer shows it's not just a fluke by stepping back, playing the music again, and repeating the process.
Yes, even alligators can be trained, and there are several places that do so, including zoos.
The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro has a whole page on its site devoted to the practice. Professionals have several important reasons to train alligators, but it's not something you should be doing at home.
Alligators are one of the only dangerous animals that keepers routinely share space with. We do this for a couple of reasons. Mostly, it is all about safety. But not just for us, it provides a safe way to feed two alligators that are in the same habitat, deter any potential food aggression, and monitor their diet. The other aspects are training and close visual observation. We train them every time we feed them creating two “stations” where they know to go to be fed, usually in the water. But we also train for medical behaviors. We obtain weights, collect blood samples, and can even do radiographs when needed.
Yeah, that's definitely not something amateurs should be practicing. And, for God's sake, don't try to re-establish the Galactic Empire with a battalion of alligators. That's just not a good idea.