AMERICAN ALLIGATOR. Alligator mississippiensis. Map. Picture Picture Picture

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1 Alligator mississippiensis AMERICAN ALLIGATOR freshwater, swamps, bayous and lakes southeastern United States fish, turtles, aquatic birds, mammals years LEAST CONRN Alligators have 80 teeth in their mouth at one time. When the teeth wear down they are replaced. Thus, an alligator can go through 2,000-3,000 teeth in a lifetime. The alligator derives from the Spanish word el lagarto, meaning the lizard, which is what the Spanish explorers called these creatures. Currently, there are no scientific methods of analyzing an alligator s age while it is alive. The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19 feet 2 inches. Average size is 6-8 for a female and feet for a male and can weigh up to 600 pounds. The temperature of the nest determines the sex of the young. If the nest is below 86 F most hatchlings are female. If the nest is above 93 F most hatchlings are male. Nest temperatures between 86 and 93 F will produce similar numbers of both sexes. OUR ALLIGATORS: Bull Male Unknown Unknown, came to zoo in 1972 Whitfield Female Unknown (approx 1998) Wild caught in MS; came to zoo in 1997 Has successfully reproduced Mixed 2009 Born at Jackson Zoo; 8 of them

2 Ursus americanus BLACK BEAR LEAST CONRN wooded areas United States berries, roots, seeds, fish, mammals, carrion years The Teddy Bear originated in Mississippi. In 1902, President Theodore Teddy Roosevelt, chose not to shoot a black bear cub while hunting in the Mississippi Delta. He was so well loved that the toy bears were made to celebrate this event. Black Bears come in 3 different color shades: black, brown (cinnamon) and white. Black bears do not hibernate; instead they go in to a deep sleep called torpor. During this winter dormant period, they do not eat, drink, urinate, or defecate, but may wake up if disturbed. A female bear will wake up to give birth to her young during torpor. OUR BEARS : All three of our yellow-footed tortoises were born at Palm Beach Zoo in Florida. Daisy Female Jan 01, 1994 Captive Born Daisy will annually shed her winter coat in thick mats (this is natural). Tank Male ~Jan Wild caught in Mississippi Tank was a nuisance bear, meaning he would get into trash cans and venture close to neighborhoods.

3 Gopherus polyphemus GOPHER TORTOISE VULNERABLE coastal dunes, prairies and open forests south-eastern United States grasses, leaves, cactus leaves, fruits years The gopher tortoise is unique in that it is one of the few tortoises to actually make large burrows. Their large burrows can be 40 feet long and 10 feet deep; the burrows are vital shelters for over 250 species. These tortoises take up to 21 years to mature. Gopher tortoises rarely drink (or are rarely seen drinking) from standing water. They can use their front flipper like legs to dam-up water as it runs down their burrow during a rain. The sex of the offspring is determined by the temperature of the sand or dirt where the nest is incubating. If the temperature is above 85 F, the tortoise s hatchlings will be females; temperatures below 85 F produce males. OUR GOPHER TORTOISES : Squirt Male Unknown Wild caught in Mississippi

4 Puma concolor COUGAR LEAST CONRN rocky canyons, prairies, forests and swamps North and Central America deer, small mammals 12 years Due to its wide range, the cougar has over 200 different common names. Names include: panther, puma, catamount and mountain lion. In Native American folklore, cougars are known as ghost walkers or ghosts of the wild. Cougars have flexible backbones that allow them to jump high from stationary positions. These cats can leap vertically over 16 feet, and horizontally more than 45 feet. OUR COUGARS : Artimus Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana Montana Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana Story Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana Fawn Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana

5 Castor canadensis COUGAR freshwater wetlands North America leaves, green bark, twigs, aquatic plants years To create a habitat, beavers build a dam in a stream, flooding an area of the woods and creating a pond in which the beaver can build a lodge. The den has an underwater entrance which makes it difficult for most predators to enter. In winter, the water around the lodge usually freezes, protecting the beaver almost completely. LEAST CONRN Beaver reproduce once a year and form lifelong breeding pairs. Kits (babies) may enter the water within a few hours following birth. Beavers are second only to humans in their ability to change their environment. They can remain underwater for 15 minutes without surfacing, and have a set of transparent eyelids that function much like goggles. OUR BEAVERS: Male Apr 09, 2012 Born at Jackson Zoo Female Mar 27, 2013 Born at Jackson Zoo

6 Lontra canadensis NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTER LEAST CONRN freshwater wetlands and rivers North America fish, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, crabs, frogs, rodents, turtles and aquatic invertebrates 9-14 years Otters can swim 6 miles per hour and they can dive to depths of 60 feet and stay submerged for up to 4 minutes. Otters have two layers of hair that is waterproof and have whiskers and nimble fingers which help them locate their food underwater. Females do not usually excavate dens; instead, they prefer to use abandoned dens of other animals or naturally existing shelters. Fertilized eggs will remain in diapause for 7-10 months before implanting - usually during late winter/early spring. OUR OTTERS : Nipper Male March 26, 2005 Born at the Sedgwick Park Zoo; Kansas White coating underneath his fur Magnolia Female ~March 2014 Wild born; from Audubon Zoo Spanky Male March 1, 2014 Born at Buffalo Zoo

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