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Bare-Bones Effort For Big Gator

A story in the Florida Times-Union details the ongoing efforts to preserve Oscar, the largest-known alligator in Georgia. When Oscar died in Okefenokee Swamp last year, Park officials found to their dismay that they did not have the budget to stuff him. Instead, Oscar’s body was left outside to be eaten by insects. His inedible remains are now slowly being reassembled by a local college professor, working from a 1915 anatomy book.

Oscar’s bones will be encased a clear plastic display shaped like an alligator, allowing a good view of the ancient shotgun pellets that are still embedded in his skull. Oscar’s stomach contents — which will be displayed next to his bones — reveal that he had eaten part of a flagpole and at least one pet dog.

The tenacity of the Okefenokee folks is a fitting tribute to their scaly, long-lived lizard pal. One hopes that similar efforts will be undertaken by the people of Ohio, if they ever discover a carcass of one of their Frog People.

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