Albert the American alligator is one of the reptiles housed in our Living Collection here at the museum. These animals are frequently used as ambassadors in our educational programming for visitors, but many people don’t get to see the day-to-day care put into maintaining our friendly crew of critters.
The alligators eat a diet consisting of specially formulated crunchy sticks and also “pinky” (baby) mice. To feed Albert, we first take the gators out of their tank and separate them into containers to ensure they are receiving the same amount of food at feeding time. We thaw out a frozen pinky mouse, and then dust it with powdered reptile vitamins. The last step is clearly Albert’s favorite – down the hatch it goes!
Mallory Vopal is Gallery Experience Manager at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and also manages the Living Collection. Her animal husbandry background includes reptiles, birds, amphibians, mammals, and invertebrates.