Alligators rescued from Midwest find warm home in Central Florida

David and Casanova now live at Gatorland

Orlando, Fla. – Two new alligators, David and Casanova, are calling Gatorland home. The pair came from Illinois this week.

David was rescued from the cold waters of Lake Michigan after a kayaker found him with his mouth taped shut.

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His story actually went viral nearly two years ago.

#waukeganpolice - It is not every day someone reports an alligator in Lake Michigan and the report is true. This time...

Posted by City of Waukegan on Monday, October 8, 2018

“His belly was full of all kinds of different plastics! His liver was completely shut down,” Savannah Boan with Gatorland Orlando said.

Casanova was found in a drug house in Chicago and when officers raided the home, they found Casanova in a small aquarium with barely any food or light.

Both gators were taken to Wildlife Discovery Center outside Chicago where vets nursed them back to health.

“These animals right here other than their time at wildlife discovery center they probably didn’t have the greatest life. I’m sure they were purchased as babies, they were hidden most of their lives, they never saw real sunlight, never had a healthy diet,” Boan explained.

Boan said she and two other Gatorland employees drove from Chicago to Orlando with the gators. A 23-hour ride.

“We slept in the back of the van with the alligators, and it was... we were in a good spot and we’d fall asleep, and as soon as we fall asleep David or Casanova would crawl on top of us and wake us back up, so it was pretty interesting,” she said.

Gatorland workers said David and Casanova will be living at the waterfall pool inside the park where they’ll enjoy some company from other gators and will be able to eat and tan.


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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!