I was recently up in Jacksonville, Florida visiting with the director of conservation at the Jacksonville zoo. However, over the weekend I realized that the St. Augustine Alligator Farm was a 40 min drive south from the house I was staying at! The St. Augustine Alligator farm has one of the largest collections of crocodilians in the world. The center are also well known because they are the only institution on earth that has all 23 extant species. This is an impressive feat because many species of crocodilian are critically endangered and some have pitifully few left in the wild. For example, the Chinese Alligator has only 100-200 individuals in the wild. The St Augustine Alligator farm has many captive breeding and conservation programs and are deeply involved in crocodilian conservation.
Lucky, I visited the center with two of my close friends who are also herpetologists. That way when I saw my my favorite crocodilian, the false gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii), for the only the second time, my dorkyness and high-pitched excited screaming was matched only by theirs. I have many pictures but here is a nice shot of a Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) underwater shot with a GoPro2 Camera. That was a BIG animal!