More tails and claws: Gatorland power couple expected to lay eggs later this year

Theme park expecting nest to be built by June

Jaws and Chip at Gatorland (Landon McReynolds, McReynolds)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Forget about the next royal baby, Gatorland’s alligator power couple is now expecting, the theme park announced on social media.

The park’s resident gators Jaws and Chip could soon lay some eggs in the coming months, with a nest being built hopefully by June.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

The popular pair of alligators live in the theme park’s white alligator swamp.

Jaws and Chip at Gatorland (McReynolds)

Jaws, a more than 30-year-old rescue alligator, has been at the park after being rescued. Meanwhile, Chip, is a roughly 10-year-old female who was born at Gatorland.

The large male alligator is one of the park’s favorites among its workers and long-time fans.

“Jaws has more than 20 million views on his videos on TikTok alone,” said Gatorland expert Savannah Boan. “That number does not even include the thousands of views from videos of Jaws on Facebook and Instagram, he is very popular.”

Savannah Boan with Chip and Jaws at Gatorland (McReynolds)

Jaws has been featured in the park’s Gatorland vlogs, which helps raise money for alligator and crocodile conservation around the world.

Gatorland Jaws expecting hatchlings

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, alligator courtship begins in early April with mating season beginning in April and May. Females will build a mounded nest of soil, vegetation or debris, and lay an average of 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July. The eggs will then hatch between mid-August to early September.

Gatorland said this would be the first time Jaws has helped reproduce hatchlings while in the park.

The theme park said Chip already appears to have made a spot to lay her eggs in the reptiles’ large exhibit. Leaders said when the eggs are laid, they will be moved to an incubator to keep them safe and secure where the eggs will be closely monitored until they hatch into beautiful, bouncing baby alligators in August.

Use the form below to sign up for the In the Loop: Theme Park Scoops newsletter, sent every Friday morning.

About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.