WATCH: Alligators Chomp on Pumpkins With Ease in Spooky Halloween Clip

by Sean Griffin
(Photo credit should read CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Gatorland Theme Park and Wildlife Preserve in Florida recently shared a clip to Instagram of a few of its alligators getting into the Halloween spirit with some holiday-themed food. The gators chomped down on pumpkins and seemed to really enjoy the change of pace.

Gatorland, which is located in Orlando, posted videos to Instagram showing its resident alligators clamping down in on these pumpkins.

“Halloween is coming and the pumpkin crunching has begun,” the park said in one of the video captions.

The park shared a video showing some of its other animals, including capybaras, birds and wild cats, snacking on these pumpkins.

Gatorland officials said the pumpkins “provide enrichment” as well as snacks for the animals.

The park buys and rescues nuisance alligators from trappers. These gators would otherwise be killed for their meat and skin. Gatorland also manages the live alligator display at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee.

In other gator news, a huge alligator found itself in salty waters and surprised plenty of beachgoers on a popular stretch at South Padre Island, Texas.

A 7.5 foot alligator worked its way into the salty waters. Wildlife officials eventually rescued it.

Alligator Caught in Surf Stuns Texas Beachgoers

Beachgoers started posting photos and videos of the alligator to social media. They altered Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials to the potential threat. The alligator struggled in the repetitive waves. Rescuers needed to relocate the alligator to safety.

“[Because] there were a lot of Facebook videos surfacing, we were anticipating getting a call,” said Jacob Reinbolt, a herpetologist at the alligator sanctuary the SPI Birding and Nature Center. “Once we saw the video surfacing of this gator on the beach, we know they don’t belong there. When they have to fight the surf like that, that’s exhausting for them.”

Authorities eventually captured the alligator. Then, they sent it to a wildlife refuge a few weeks ago under the care of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Alligator handlers from the sanctuary also assisted with the gator.

These days, wild alligators roam around South Padre Island. However, they rarely wade into the surf-side areas. Gators prefer freshwater or brackish water, Reinbolt said. They typically venture into saltwater only for short periods of time to find food.

“So if you asked me, the most likely scenario here is he went out looking for food and kind of got swept into the surf,” Reinbolt said, explaining the gator was in need of rescue by the time they caught and relocated it to safety.

“He had been fighting the waves for who knows how long before someone even spotted him. By the time we got him he was exhausted,” Reinbolt said. “So it was definitely a rescue, we returned them deep into Laguna Atascosa, where he has access to fresh water.”

The Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge lies on the mainland of Cameron County.