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Do you know Big Joe? Here’s some fun facts about the EWG’s most famous resident:
- For years the biggest American Crocodile in captivity in Florida was Big Joe. He was just over 15 feet long and weighed in at a whopping 1,200 pounds. He passed in 2003 at the age of 75. It is said that he died from the good life-too much food and too little effort to get it.
- Big Joe was caught by fishermen off Key Largo in 1936 and was about 5 years old. Word has it that Lester Piper would pay for Crocs so the fishermen brought him here.
- Big Joe was stuffed and put on display under glass in the Gardens until 2013 when he was put into storage. Big Joe returned home to the Everglades Wonder Gardens on September 11, 2015
- Big Joe’s original enclosure was right out the door to the gardens on the right and is now a beautiful koi pond.
- Big Joe was not picky about what he ate: chicken, fish, beef,
- Other notably large gators and crocs that lived here were Psycho, Crusher, Iron Head, Old Man, and Big Joe 2.
- The crocs nostrils close upon submersion and they have a special flap in their throat that blocks water entry. They are unable to stick out their tongues.
- Crocs are semiaquatic and prefer freshwater habitats. They have webbed feet.
- Males grow larger than the female. They are able to replace each of their 80 teeth up to 50 times during their lives.