28-Sep-11 11:00 AM  EDT

Maximo's 40th Birthday Celebration

Contact:
Molly Ebersold, Sales & Marketing Manager
St. Augustine Alligator Farm
(904) 824-3337 ext. 10
zoosales@alligatorfarm.com
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
 
Alligator Farm Celebrates 1,250 Pound Crocodile’s 40th Birthday
St. Augustine, FL (September 1, 2011) –The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park will celebrate the 40th birthday of Maximo, the zoo’s largest living crocodilian on exhibit, October 8, 2011 by hosting a party for visitors of all ages. Guests are invited to enjoy a scavenger hunt, face painting, prizes and give-aways from 2:40 p.m. until 5:40 p.m. The celebration’s key moments will be Maximo’s feeding, the croc cake cutting and a feeding at the Alligator Lagoon to round out the day’s events. All of the festivities are included as part of regular admission to the park.
 
Maximo hatched in 1971 from an egg collected by aborigines along the Edward River on Australia’s Cape York Peninsula. As a juvenile, he was relocated to the Cairns Crocodile Farm, Australia’s largest commercial crocodile farm, where he grew into adulthood. Famed crocodile trapper George Craig led Alligator Farm Director and General Manager John Brueggen to Maximo as a possible successor to Gomek, formerly the park’s largest live crocodile on exhibit. Brueggen traveled to Australia and was impressed by Maximo’s size, appearance and relatively young age. He brokered a deal for Maximo and his female companion, Sydney. The Alligator Farm met the stringent export permit requirements of the Australian government, and Maximo and Sydney were transported aboard an airliner shortly after Brueggen’s visit.
 
“I remember years ago, Arthur Jones, who sold Gomek to the Alligator Farm, said ‘people are always attracted by great size and great numbers.’ And I think that’s true,” said Brueggen. “When visitors are able to make a connection with a croc as big as Maximo, when they can get down and get eye-to-eye with a creature of that size and that majesty, then it makes them stop and think. It’s an amazing connection. At the least, we’re helping people see that these are magnificent creatures that need to be protected. And who knows? We may help inspire a lifelong commitment to education and preservation for creatures like Maximo. He’s an iconic animal. He’s our Shamu—he’s a very special part of the experience of the Alligator Farm.”
 
Maximo and Sydney have thrived at their Florida home and produced multiple clutches of eggs since 2003. At 15 feet 3 inches long and 1,250 pounds, Maximo continues to grow and may live to between 60 and 80 years of age.

For additional information on this release, please contact:
 
Molly Ebersold
(904) 824-3337
 
Source: St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park Website:
 
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