WATCH: Alligator Blows Off Some Steam on Lazy River at Illinois Water Park

by Craig Garrett

The summer season came to a close at an Illinois water park when one last visitor was allowed to float down the lazy river… an alligator. The Scovill Zoo transferred G, a 39-year-old alligator, to Splash Cove in Decatur to officially become the last visitor to float on the lazy river.

Officials at Splash Cove claimed that the last people to use the park were several weeks ago. In this case, enough chlorine dissipated from the water over time. This made it safe for gators to take a dip in. G is seen crawling along the bottom of the water in a viral video posted to Facebook by the Scovill Zoo.

“Meet “G”, a long-term resident at our beloved Scovill Zoo,” the post starts. “He recently had an opportunity to take a day-long field trip to Splash Cove to visit the lazy river!” The zoo then goes on to give the gator’s stats, including an impressive size. “G is 39 years old, weighs in at 300 pounds, and is 12 feet long.”

The alligator apparently had a blast exploring the lazy river

G has been in captivity his entire life. The splash cove is a rare opportunity for the animal. “G has never ventured too far out of his enclosure,” the zoo wrote. Zoo officials also point out that the creature has never been in deep water. “[He] definitely has not been submerged in more than a few feet of water before.” However, the zoo makes sure to point out the home-schooled gator was closely supervised. “His dedicated keepers have been looking for ways to enrich G’s life and provide more experiences for him.” Of course, this means they took him for a swim.

The Scovill Zoo spins the experience as an enriching moment for the alligator. “He loved freshening up on his swimming skills, floating in the river current,” they wrote. “[He] let us know that he enjoyed his trip to the lazy river by refusing to leave.” However, all good things must come to an end. “G finally decided to come out and then basked in the sun on the concrete deck for a few minutes before safely venturing back to his home at Scovill Zoo. We are pretty sure he had a big alligator smile and was loving life on his vacation day.”

Apparently, the experience was good for all involved. There are plans for this to be an annual event. “G and his keepers hope this becomes an annual field trip at the end of each summer, they wrote. Of course, this is after all the visitors all long gone. “Once humans have vacated the facility and before our staff drains the pools for the winter!”