Come to our FREE Wildlife Exhibit where you will be greeted by by “Hammy” the live 12’ alligator, his smaller alligator neighbors and other beautiful animals such as exotic Blue & Gold Macaws, a Ball Python and more!
Hold a live baby gator and take a photo using your own camera for just $5 or a get a printed photo for $8. Hammy Encounter is $20 and depending on the availability of Black Hammock owner and handler, Joel.
1. The American Alligator is found only in the southeastern part of the United States. Florida has the highest population of alligators where alligators can be found in almost every single body of water.
2. Lake Jesup is home to some of Florida’s most unique wildlife, including more alligators and more species of birds than any other lake in Florida.
3. The alligator is a very important part of our wildlife heritage, and plays an extremely important part in Florida’s ecosystem. During the dry season, alligators create “gator holes” which may be the only source of water around. This provides nourishment for other wildlife as well as the alligator.
4. Despite their appearances, alligators are extremely quick and agile. They are capable of amazingly fast bursts of speed, but only for a short distance.
5. Alligators in the wild are believed to live 35-50 years. In captivity their life span may be significantly longer, perhaps 60-80 years.
6. The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19’2″. Most wild alligators do not get above 13 feet in length and may weigh 600 pounds or more.
7. Alligators are carnivorous reptiles whose primary feeding time is at night. Small alligators will eat snails, frogs, insects and small fish. Larger gators will eat fish, turtles, snakes, waterfowl, small mammals, and even smaller alligators.
8. Alligators have specialized valve in their throat called a glottis that enables the gator to capture its prey underwater. However, in order to swallow its food and keep itself from drowning, an alligator must lift its head out of the water.
9. Alligators are not to be feared, but they are to be respected. One of the most important rules to remember is, should you see an alligator in the wild, leave it alone. Alligators are now protected by both state and federal regulations. It is illegal to hunt or trap a wild alligator without a permit.
Say “Hello” to Hammy!
Hammy is a Male American Alligator born right here in Central Florida. He was born in 1968 in the town of Christmas. Hammy currently weighs around 680 pounds and is 12 feet long. Hammy was selected from over 100 alligators to retire here at The Black Hammock.
Be sure to join us on Sunday afternoons (weather permitting) when Hammy chows down on some of his favorite treats!
Squishy is a ball python. The name ball python refers to the animal’s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened.
This terrestrial species is known for its defense strategy that involves coiling into a tight ball when threatened, with its head and neck tucked away in the middle. In this state, it can literally be rolled around. Favored retreats include mammal burrows and other underground hiding places where they also hibernate.
Adults generally do not grow to more than 90-120 cm (3-4 feet) in length, although some specimens have reached 152 cm and even 182 cm (5-6 feet), but this is very rare. Females tend to be slightly bigger than males maturing at an average of 4-4.5 feet. Males usually average around 3-3.5 feet.
Mike and his girlfriend Morgan are our resident blue and gold macaws. They can be quite talkative and may even meow at you! Mike is a ladies man and may growl if he is fond of you.
Blue and gold macaws birds can reach 30 to 34 inches and can weigh up to 3.3 pounds; making it one of the larger members of the Neotropical parrot family. They are vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, dark blue chin, golden under parts, and a green forehead. Beaks are black, and very strong for crushing nuts. The naked face is white, turning pink in excited birds, and lined with small black feathers.