Okefenokee Alligator Farm?

Before becoming protected in the 1960’s, alligators were hunted to near extinction for their skins. The following is a headline from an 1875 newspaper. Thankfully the “Okefenokee Alligator Farm” vision never became a reality, for there probably would have been only a lot of “harvesting” and very little management.

American Alligator swimming submerged in Billy’s Lake; Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 11, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com

The Galveston News thinks alligator skins should begin to figure among Texan exports.

Nashville Union and American. June 11, 1875.

​Florida and Louisiana contrive to catch and skin 20,000 alligators a year, and the News is satisfied that the Texan crop is fully as great as both of those States. The skins are exported to England and France, but chiefly to the latter country, which furnishes the best tanners in the world. Would it not be well, the Atlanta Constitution asks, to turn the Okefenokee Swamp into an alligator farm for the benefit of the world in general, and Georgia in particular?


iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/57833819

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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