Reggie is getting a girlfriend.
Reggie the Alligator has quite a long history. He was illegally raised in captivity near Long Beach, CA by two men (who were later arrested) who were involved in the illegal trade of exotic animals, but then was released into a lake in August 2005.
According to wikipedia:
City officials immediately set efforts in motion to apprehend him. The entire 53-acre lake was cordoned off and several professional "gator wranglers" were hired. But despite a nearly three month-long effort, Reggie managed to elude capture and began making fewer and fewer appearances until he seemed to disappear altogether. Until May of 2007, Reggie was believed to be either in hibernation, or dead. "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin pledged that if the gator ever re-emerged, he and his crew would go to the lake and attempt a capture.
Well, Reggie was eventually caught, and now resides at the LA Zoo. I've seen him. He's pretty cute, for an alligator.
But Reggie was a persistent reptile. Something was missing from his life, and he was not going to be one of those zoo alligators who just sits around sunning all day. No. He was a man on a mission (so to speak).
On August 15, 2007, zookeepers discovered Reggie had escaped from his habitat when they entered the facility at 10 a.m. Reggie was later found near a loading dock within the zoo, and returned to his home.
But now Reggie has a new roommate: female alligator Cajun Kate. I suspect that Reggie will live out the rest of his days in total bliss, with his new bff.
A news release from Councilwoman Janice Hahn's office (in whose district the 'gator was originally found) announced that the honeymooners will make their media debut on Monday. The LA Times reports:
So far, though, the new relationship is rocky. Hahn's news release notes that there was "some friction" after their introduction with some "superficial wounds." Now, it seems they've adjusted to their new digs.
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"superficial wounds." are, as I understand it, just love nips. Around mating time the alligators pretty commonly bite, tear and do a lot of stuff just this side of openly trying to kill each other. Gaping wounds are not uncommon.
Evidently they like their friendships and love on the rough side. Good thing that alligators are remarkably tough animals that can take a lot of damage, heal remarkably well, seem immune to most infections, and appear to live unfazed by wounds that would have us doubled up and screaming in pain.