Have you ever seen an alligator or bear fly? Soon, you could.
Some of Central Florida’s popular animal attractions are teaming up to find out who is the most popular animal.
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The contest, sponsored by Frontier Airlines and Visit Orlando, will highlight Central Florida animal conservation and provide chances to win free flights.
The winner will be the featured Florida animal on the back of a Frontier Airlines plane tail.
“This promotion is a fantastic way to highlight animal conservation efforts happening at these outstanding facilities and the amazing things consumers can enjoy when visiting the greater Orlando area,” said Tyri Squyres, Vice President of marketing, Frontier Airlines.
Animals include Gatorland’s Larry the alligator, Ella the black bear at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, TED the loggerhead sea turtle at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium or Flurry the albino alligator at Wild Florida.
“In addition to our world-famous theme parks, visitors also are expressing an interest in exploring nature and connecting with natural wildlife during their Orlando vacation, and this new campaign creates a way to spotlight the many incredible conservation efforts they can become part of here,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando.
All Frontier Airlines plane tails feature an animal with a name and a backstory and this campaign will be no different.
- Larry the Alligator was caught back in 2019 in The Villages. Some people would illegally feed him, causing Larry to lose his natural fear of humans. Being a 12-foot alligator and weighing 800 lbs., this created the potential for a dangerous clash between Larry, the residents, and their pets. Larry now basks in one of the wildlife park’s largest lakes where he can be found along the banks chowing down on some meat from his keepers. Larry is just one of several successful surrounding Gatorland’s mission of protecting, conserving and educating.
- Flurry, the albino alligator at Wild Florida, and his siblings are the only albino gators ever hatched at a facility open to the public. Albino alligators are extremely rare. Flurry’s parents, Blizzard and Snowflake, also albino gators, had spent years trying to generate offspring and finally in 2019 produced a large clutch of eggs that led to the birth of Flurry and three siblings.
- Ted, the loggerhead turtle, is a rescue turtle who was released multiple times back into the wild, however, he was not displaying behavior consistent with survival on his own. He lives at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium at ICON Park. Ted’s name is an acronym for Turtle Excluder Device. TEDs are escape hatches in fishing nets that allow turtles to escape if they are accidentally trapped. Ted, the turtle, was one of the first turtles to test the TED device and played an important role in pioneering a technology to help protect the endangered sea turtle species.
- Central Florida Zoo’s Ella, the Florida black bear, is a seven-year-old 260-pound Florida black bear. Ella was born in the wild but she and a sibling were illegally removed after being found living in a home with humans. Based on having become accustomed to humans, the cubs were deemed unfit to be returned to the wild. At the request of wildlife officials, the zoo provided a home for the bears.
Voting runs through May 16.
A drawing will be held from among everyone who votes, and 10 winners will receive $400 in flights from Frontier to Orlando.
Click here to cast your vote.
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