The first thing our son asks when we pick him up from school is, “CAN WE GO SEE TASHA???!!!”
“Tasha” is an American Alligator who lives in a pond at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center (LBVESC).
He is the most territorial and is the largest gator in Laredo’s Alligator Alley.
There used to be 14 American Alligators in the alley, but Tasha overtook four of them, and another four died of pneumonia.
Laredo’s dominant gator turned 14 on August 31st, 2013! (See the flyer at the bottom for info on the September 7th Birthday Celebration you can bring the kids to!) Here’s a video of Tasha being fed!
Tasha now lives in his own pond while 6 younger gators occupy neighboring ponds.
The little gator our son is looking at below in the lilly pond is the tiniest one in the entire center.
He has to be separated from his much, much larger brothers and sisters since he was the runt of the litter!
Here is “The Runt” at feeding time!
Our family has had a lot of fun watching the active young gators in the pond next to Tasha.
We’ve watched them grow from tiny gators over the last few years to their current size.
The one below is starting to show his dominance over the others as he forces them out of the pond and snatches food from them.
The other day, we were looking at the bobcat and our son started to yell, “They’re fighting! They’re fighting!
The gators are fighting!” We ran over to the pond and found out what he witnessed…..
It was a battle for a turtle snack!
That was a happy gator.
Here’s a video of the adolescent gators at feeding time!
Our kids get a kick out of seeing all of the other animals there, especially the cool turtles….
The large Alligator Gar Fish!
And the Bobcat….
We are looking forward to seeing Tasha and all the other animals
to celebrate his birthday with some cake for us,
and maybe a pile of raw chicken for the gators!
Hope to see you guys there!
This Saturday is also the Paso Del Indio Nature Trail Clean-Up (right behind the Science Center), so it’s a great way to get out with the family and do something fun and helpful while you pop in to sing “Happy Birthday” to a 6-foot Alligator.
Totally normal stuff. :)
Do you wanna know a cool little secret?
Our crocodilian-obsessed little boy totally named that Gator.
I think the staff heard him screaming “Tasha! Tasha!” so much that the name stuck.
He started calling the male gator that about two years ago.
He wasn’t too cool to watch The Backyardigans back then.
And, anyone with toddlers knows that “Tasha” was one of those cherubic dancing not-sure-what-they-weres.
So, here’s an interesting bit of Laredo history-
was named after
a bossy female Backyardigan
by a then-2 year old boy
who gave up Batman for Crocodilians.