KEEPERS at The Australian Reptile Park no doubt drew straws to decide who had to go in the alligator pen and collect a fresh batch of 15 eggs laid on Sunday night.
The park is home to 35 adult alligators and the nest raid "is considered extremely dangerous" according to head of reptiles Daniel Rumsey. It is a necessity however to keep the clutch of eggs safe and ensure they hatch.
"There's nothing that gets your heart racing quite like alligator nest raiding," he said.
"We do this every year and all of the keepers love getting muddy and helping save the baby alligators from what could be a potentially dangerous situation with Australia's heat, and larger cannibalistic adult alligators."
Alligators are native to swamps and wetlands in the south-east of the United States of America, which means the eggs won't hatch in Australia's hot climate.
Once removed, the eggs will be artificially incubated and hatch in about 70 days with their sex determined by the temperature at which they are incubated.
Keepers restrained mother alligator Betty before removing the eggs from the nest.
"We are very careful to follow a well-thought-out plan and ensure the protective mother is well restrained and doing okay herself," he said.
"Once we let her go, we also monitor her for the rest of the day to ensure she has not been distressed.
"We have a few more female alligators looking to be gravid (holding eggs) so it could be a busy summer for us."
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