Brazos Bend State Park staff recently welcomed some snappy new bundles of joy into the world -- several tiny lil’ alligators.
The cute creatures made their viral internet debut Tuesday when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shared a post on its Facebook page. In a video, the reptile rugrats are seen emerging from their shells -- with some assistance from park staff.
“Peek a boo! It’s baby alligator season at Brazos Bend State Park. These eggs were collected from an at-risk nest. The hatchlings will be released back into the wild,” the post reads.
Needless to say, the post proved quite a conversation starter, spawning hundreds of comments.
“Aww.. they’re so cute…till they’re not,” one person commented.
Several noted an uncanny resemblance between the hatchlings and their long-extinct ancestors.
“You say alligator. I see dinosaur,” one commenter joked.
“Literally thought this was a baby velociraptor,” another said.
Some Alligator averse commenters expressed marginal concern regarding the little hatchlings’ imminent release.
“I can’t be the only one who doesn’t want them released.....,” wrote one person.
TPWD staff said Brazos Bend State Park staff will rehome the gators with a soon-to-be-selected foster mother.
“The park will find a mother alligator that has hatchlings and they will add these little guys with hers. That way she will take care of them for us,” TPWD staff wrote.
Located in Needville, a tiny Texas town southwest of Houston, Brazos Bend State Park is a well-known wildlife haven. With nearly 5,000 acres of lakes, prairies and forests, the park is home to more than 25 different species of mammals, hundreds of bird species and about 21 species of reptiles and amphibians -- including the American alligator.
In Texas, the alligator ranges from the Sabine River of East Texas to the Gulf of Mexico and across the coastal marshes to the Rio Grande, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This range includes about 120 counties in East Texas and the Gulf Coastal Plains.
Alligators have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, and weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. Yet, despite their fearsome attributes, alligator-human conflicts are relatively rare because alligators naturally shy away from humans -- that is, unless some misguided, blockheaded nincompoops feed them. Then, gators begin associating people with food, a particularly unfortunate connection.
All in all, only one person has been killed in an alligator attack in Texas, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. A 28-year-old man was killed on July 3, 2015 from an alligator attack in Orange, Texas.