Historic Florida attraction, Gatorland, partly destroyed by fire
Monday, November 6, 2006
Gatorland, an Orlando, Florida tourist attraction known for its gator wrestling shows and its conservation programs for alligators, crocodiles, and other reptiles and birds, was heavily damaged by fire on Monday morning, November 6, 2006.
The four-alarm fire was reported at 5:55am EST. The entrance building, which contains the administration offices and the gift shop, was destroyed. The only thing left standing of it was its iconic gator head front gate, whose upper jaw was almost completely charred.
At least four animals — two gators and two snakes, which were being kept near the gift shop — were feared dead. No humans were hurt. The other gators in the public display took refuge in the central pools, and were okay. The birds were in the aviary in the back, and were in no danger.
None of the attraction venues beyond the gift shop, however, were damaged. Gatorland hopes to reopen for tourists in a week, using a temporary entrance.
Orange County Fire Rescue is investigating the cause of the fire.