Gatorland treating alligator missing snout

- You've probably never seen an alligator like this.  Meet "Champ."  He's been beaten up, but the folks at Gatorland aren't counting him out just yet.

"He got into a major fight with another alligator out there," said Mark McHugh, CEO of Gatorland. "He lost the top part of his jaw and he lost the end of his tail."

A local woman found "Champ" in Volusia County this weekend and called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Since the injuries are just part of alligator life in the wild, the experts set him free in the St. John's River.  But, when they went back to check on the gator, it wouldn't budge.
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"He would never have survived in the wild," McHugh explained.

That's where Gatorland comes in, with a whole lot of reptile T.L.C.

"If there's anything I can do to help this guy grow up and be strong, even if he looks a little bit funny, it'll be great," Savannah Boan, Gatorland's Crocodilian Enrichment Coordinator, said.

No nose job for the little guy, but he's still in need of a different kind of surgery to help him breathe better.

McHugh said it's pretty rare to see a gator with injuries like this. They only see it maybe once every 4 years. He said survivability is about 50/50.

"If he can start eating in the next couple of weeks, we think he has a real good chance of making it," McHugh said.

"Champ" has survived a lot so far,  and after a few weeks of recovery, there's a chance you may be able to visit him at Gatorland.

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