(Newport) – He’s 14-feet long and weighs around 800-pounds.
That’s Newport Aquarium’s alligator Mighty Mike, who will be returning home to Florida in September.
“He was here, it was a temporary stay, we were fortunate to have him for the time we did,” said the aquarium’s Public Relations Manager Jennifer Tan. “But really he’s really to head back to Florida, the Sunshine State. He’s ready to say goodbye to us.”
The aquarium made the announcement this morning, after five years with the massive alligator that was caught in the wild.
A legacy of conservation will be left behind when Mighty Mike exits the aquarium and Tan says he’s taught a lot of guests about the importance of protecting the habitats of animals.
She also says he’s helped create a lot of memories for Tri-State families.
“They watch him as he kind of slowly walks through the water in the exhibit or he’ll climb up onto to beach in the exhibit,” Tan said. “And people will walk through and ask, ‘Is he real, that can’t be a real alligator, look how huge he is.”
Mighty Mike will be taken to the Crocodilian Conservation Center in Florida. Fans have until September 9 to catch him in Alligator Alley.