Gatorland is a 110-acre (45 ha) theme park and wildlife preserve located along South Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, Florida. It was founded by Owen Godwin in 1949, and still privately owned by his family today. Billed as the "Alligator Capital of the World," Gatorland features thousands of alligators and crocodiles, a breeding marsh with boardwalk and observation tower, reptile shows, aviary, petting zoo, swamp walk and educational programs. The park is known for buying and rescuing nuisance alligators from trappers that would otherwise be killed for their meat and skin.
The operation also has an active road show providing alligator wrestling, pythons, lizards and other animals with an informative animal talk for private parties and benefits. In addition, Gatorland manages the live alligator display at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee, Florida.
The park is also known for its leucistic alligators.
At approximately 6:00 am local time on November 6, 2006, a three-alarm fire broke out at Gatorland. Apparently the fire started when a heating pad in one of the displays in the gift shop shorted out. Arson was not suspected. The fire was brought under control as of 8:30 AM the same day. The gift shop was completely destroyed, and several walkways also burned. The fire killed a four-foot-long crocodile and two six-foot-long pythons, but spared the other animals.  During the day, the birds that are displayed in and around the shop were moved to the aviary at the back of the park and were not injured.
Gatorland reopened the day after Thanksgiving 2006, once inspectors confirmed that there was no structural damage to the various walkways and displays at the park.
The gift shop and main offices were rebuilt as a two-story concrete block building, incorporating the repainted historic concrete alligator's mouth, and opened on May 22, 2008.
Zip line ride
In the summer of 2011 Gatorland added a new attraction: a zip line that travels across a pool of alligators and past several of the existing attractions. The ride is approximately 1,200 feet (370 m) long, several stories high and for riders above 37 inches (94 cm) tall.
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