When Baby Alligators Roamed the Isles of K-Mart

48 Responses to “When Baby Alligators Roamed the Isles of K-Mart”

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  1. Guess what? Alligators live in the lake outside my house! We live less than a mile from the Florida Everglades. I am Not Allowed to go near the edge of the lake, even when I wear my harness and leash.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 16th, 2008 7:55 am:

    You are one smart kitty! I read that alligators can push themselves 5-feet up out of the water and grab animals out of low-hanging branches. So, be careful! 🙂

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  2. ettaroseNo Gravatar says:

    Now everyone knows what to get you for your birthday. A cat

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 16th, 2008 7:58 am:

    Ha! Very funny! Like I need another cat to torture me every morning! 🙂

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  3. I’m sitting here wondering what is more fascinating the legendary modern day dinosaur or your writing.You should be really writing for magazines on the level of Playboy and Rolling Stone,I mean serious that was f8cking Brilliant and Extraordinary.
    Excellent Thanks

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 16th, 2008 8:33 am:

    Wow! I don’t even know how to respond to such a nice complement except to say, thanks! 🙂

    Like most writers, I hate all of my own writing. 🙂

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  4. thinkinfyouNo Gravatar says:

    Growing up in FL.(and still living here for that matter)I can remember boys I went to school with would catch small alligators all the time. They loved to put a leash around it neck and walk it down Daytona Beach during Spring Break. The look on the Northerners was priceless.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 17th, 2008 3:55 am:

    I would love to take an alligator for a walk! That would be great! 🙂

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  5. Lord LikelyNo Gravatar says:

    When people went into the Wal-Mart to purchase said alligator, did the line ‘I would like to buy an alligator, please. And make it snappy!’ ever utter from their lips?

    I hope so.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 17th, 2008 4:01 am:

    “Your finest alligator, sir, and make it an irritable one!”

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  6. JennNo Gravatar says:

    I remember those alligators at K-Mart. I forgot entirely that both KMart and places like Woolworths/McCrory’s had HUGE pet sections. I wonder what happened to those gators, too. Flushed and living in our sewers? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Down in the Florida Keys at my Dad’s, folks have let their pet iguanas roam free when they no longer want them. So on warm days, Godzilla will pop out of the canal by Dad’s house, climb on shore and sun himself.

    It’s pretty…. surprising.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 18th, 2008 7:07 am:

    I just realized that Godzilla (of the movies) looks like a cross between an iguana and an alligator. Maybe people let their pets go and, you know…things happened down in the sewers. 🙂

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    JennNo Gravatar reply on September 18th, 2008 9:23 am:

    That does put a somewhat different spin on it. 🙂 An alliguana… an igodile…

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  7. The DunceNo Gravatar says:

    Similar to alligators….Sarah Palin can survive more than two years without eating. Sarah Palin can stay submerged under water for up to 2 hours (in very cold water she can stay under for as much as 8 hours!). Sarah Palin can only exert herself for 30 minutes before she becomes completely exhausted and will need several hours to recover. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 18th, 2008 7:12 am:

    See what happens when you go without sun for several months? 🙂

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  8. Wow we really have made a lot of progress not selling baby alligators at K-mart anymore! Whew…I am going to take a few days off now that I just realized that. Love your blog! Thanks for the laughs, sorry if I don’t always have time to drop a comment. 😀

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 18th, 2008 7:12 am:

    Are you saying that my blog made you call in sick? LOL 🙂

    Just kidding! Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

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  9. JanetNo Gravatar says:

    That brought back memories! We bought & owned those little aligators and turtles too. Never had them for long, they always seemed to have gotten lost…

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 18th, 2008 4:54 pm:

    Maybe you better not open the cabinet door beneath the sink; there might be a lost, hungry gator in there. 🙂

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  10. timethiefNo Gravatar says:

    I remember my grandma taking us to pet stores when we were very small and there we would stare at the baby gators and turtles behind the glass. We weren’t allowed to buy them as we didn’t have the right conditions to keep them in and we thought that being denied the opportunity to take them home was mean. In time I grew up and recognized how wise my grandma was when my neighbor found a foot long gator had come up from the sewer into her toilet bowl. Luckily she saw it before she lowered her butt to do her business. 😛

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 18th, 2008 4:56 pm:

    There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING as frightening as opening the lid to the toilet and…hello! Gator! 🙂

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  11. Bill LibbeyNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with John Sullivan :>) I’ve heard stories of alligators being dumped when they get too big, into places they shouldn’t be (Lake Ontario for example), or flushed down toilets. Don’t know if they’re true, but I always check the toilet bowl before use now.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 19th, 2008 4:19 am:

    I don’t know about lake Ontario, but lake Michigan has an unusual number of ships that have vanished; maybe there’s some kind of Supergator out there gobbling them up! 🙂

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  12. petraNo Gravatar says:

    OMG I can’t believe I forgot about this! I remember I reallyyyyyy wanted a tarantula. Never got one but my gawd they were cool! I would have settled for a garden snake (that was the only kind I ever saw in a store). Never got one of those either. Never saw baby gators in any of our Kmarts tho.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 19th, 2008 4:23 am:

    We have tarantulas roaming around here in the hills. We have the big ugly hairy ones and the cute fuzzy ones. I like the fuzzy one-handers better, but they don’t get quite as big.

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  13. JoshuaNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve never actually been within 10 feet of a live alligator, but I have a strange desire to learn to wrestle them. Like those guys on animal planet, rescuing the redneck families from alligators disrupting their bbq’s. The dad trying to swat it with a spatula, the mom screaming, trying to hold back all 11 children. Little boys screaming, “I’m’a cut yeeewww, dumb gater.”
    Yes, that would be the life.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 19th, 2008 4:25 am:

    You might even be able to start a business: Alligator Rescue! 🙂

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  14. BakeriousNo Gravatar says:

    I remember the Kmart gator tanks as a kid. My once told me that when he was growing up, you could order alligator eggs out of comic books. I assume you were meant to hatch them for baby gators and not scramble them for breakfast though.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 21st, 2008 3:36 am:

    I heard they go good with iguana bacon. 🙂

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  15. lyle w blodgettNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bill, I finally got up and running. Very good!

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 22nd, 2008 9:12 pm:

    Hi Lyle! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

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  16. I love the image of a kid riding to school on an alligator — as the mean bully kids run in terror. I could’ve used an alligator in my youth.

    It’s no wonder the “baby-alligator-flushed-down-the-toilet” myth evolved, if stores like K-Mart were actually selling them!

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 25th, 2008 4:44 am:

    I can’t imagine anyone being dumb enough to flush a live alligator down the toilet, but I’ve seen people do some pretty stupid things, so, yeah, it probably happened. 🙂

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  17. AngieSSNo Gravatar says:

    Totally true! My Dad bought an alligator and we kept it in a fairly large glass aquarium in the living room. We thought it was sooo cool. Then one day it bit my Dad whilst he was trying to feed it — It had grown to about 1 1/2 ft long.

    I have no idea what happened to it. One moment we were alligator lovers, next — we weren’t. I suppose he probably just took it out and let it go at the lake. It was full of alligators anyway. Hmmm…I’ll have to remember to ask him.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 25th, 2008 4:48 am:

    Hopefully, you won’t find a full-grown live alligator in your basement. 🙂

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  18. UniNo Gravatar says:

    The Isles of K-Mart……..hmmmmm……aren’t they in the Martha Stewart Sea?

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on September 25th, 2008 4:49 am:

    …or, maybe Martha Stewart was once a baby alligator! 🙂

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  19. Dottie FillmoreNo Gravatar says:

    Does anyone know if an alligator carries her babies on their back or does she eat them all. My husband and I were discussing that and neither one of us knows. Thanks for your help.

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on July 28th, 2010 5:02 pm:

    I would hope she doesn’t eat them all. I’ve never seen anything about ‘gators carrying their young on their backs, but I don’t know for sure.

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  20. I can answer the baby alligator on the back question. The moms are very attentive and will care for their young for up to 2 years after they are hatched. If a baby alligator makes a distress call, all the females in the area will come to her rescue, whether it’s their baby or not. The moms carry them around (gently) in their mouths, not on their backs. However, I have seen when a mom alligator is resting a young one may come and rest on her back as if she were a log. She certainly doesn’t eat her own young, however male alligators will eat the babies if the mom strays and can’t come to their protection.

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  21. KennethNo Gravatar says:

    Wow. Times have really changed then huh? I’m glad you can’t buy them so easily now, my son would surely have quite a few if you could…

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  22. ZaraNo Gravatar says:

    That’s weird and very very dangerous. Alligators are enormous when adults. How can their owners ‘take care’ of them without harming themselves or their resources that much?

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  23. LornaNo Gravatar says:

    I never knew that you used to be able to do that! Glad that times have clearly changed…

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  24. david krauterNo Gravatar says:

    Whew, I learned interesting information about alligators through this blog post. I never knew that the adult alligator can survive for 2 years without eating. A natural way for weight loss that people can envy.

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  25. PaolaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi; I live in Honduras, this is an amazing story, what year was this? I want a pet alligator for the longest time! It’s illegal to own one here, but I have own one soon I hope!

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    William McCammentNo Gravatar reply on January 26th, 2012 8:46 am:

    This was many, MANY years ago. I’m sure it’s now illegal to own them here too (if it’s not, it probably should be.. 🙂 )

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  26. AndreaNo Gravatar says:

    I am so glad you write about this! My local K-Mart had a pet store when I was growing up. They sold exotic animals including monkeys! At about age 10, my friends and I planned to pool our money and secretly buy a monkey. We were going to share the monkey and hide it in our respective bedrooms. We had no idea how naive we were!

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  27. pattieNo Gravatar says:

    If people flushed alligators wouldn’t that stop your camode up where it won’t flush

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