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Alligator Leaving Newport Aquarium, Returning to Florida

Mighty Mike is going home.

The largest American alligator outside of Florida is departing the Newport Aquarium and returning to the Sunshine State.

Mike is 14-ft. long and weighs 800 pounds.

“Getting the public to understand and appreciate these animals has been a critical factor in helping the American alligator achieve sustainable populations after being listed as endangered for decades,” said Eric Rose, executive director at Newport Aquarium. “We’re grateful to the Crocodilian Conservation Center and to our world-class animal care team for keeping Mike happy and healthy all these years, and to all the guests who’ve come to see him.”

Mighty Mike is going back home to the Crocodilian Conservation Center in Florida, where he will continue as an ambassador for wetlands habitat and preservation. He will create opportunities for others to care more about watersheds and ecosystems around them, a news release said.

The last chance to see this living dinosaur at Newport Aquarium is September 9. Fans will have the chance to leave well wishes for Mighty Mike on a banner that will be on display in Gator Alley for the rest of the summer.

-Staff report

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