Saturday, November 12, 2011
Alligator Jerky....taste just like chicken...NOT
We are in Abita Springs, Louisiana, feeling crappy, but we decided to suck it up and go for a bike ride to see the immediate surroundings. We came upon a sign that said "Alligator Ranch...2 miles", so we decided to see if we could find the place. It was interesting. I ate some Alligator Jerky, which tasted pretty much the same as any other jerky I have eaten, which is nothing like chicken btw.
Evidently about 20 years ago Louisiana was down to about 150,000 alligators, and they were on the endangered list. This ranch was commissioned to study the gators, and figure out why, and what to do about it. Now Louisiana has about 3 million gators. I think it was successful!
In the wild, about 4 out of every 100 baby alligators make it to 4 feet long. Once they hit 4 feet long, they pretty much have no predators. The ranchers fly around the marshes, find alligator nests, and steal the eggs. After hatching them and they reach 4 feet long, they release 12 alligators back into the wild. The rest are eaten, their skin turned into leather and all other parts used in various ways, such as silly souvenirs. Apparently the process is very profitable. Generally they steal about 3,000 eggs every June, however this year...they found only 200. Due to the BP oil spill in gulf last year, they had to flood the marshes from the Mississippi River, in an attempt to keep the oil out...thus destroying the prime alligator nesting areas.
Interesting fact, if an alligator egg is kept at exactly 92 degrees until hatching it will always be a male, if it is kept at exactly 86 degrees, it will always be a female. If it is kept at 89 degrees, there will be roughly the same number of males and females, and they will be healthier than the gators incubated warmer or cooler.
Now, I am a bit worried about Gerry, he looks like he may be starting up another migraine. He didn't get one immediately after eating and drinking, so we know there was no corn in the beer or food. I think the bike ride may have been too much on him. When he turns his head too quickly in either direction he gets severe pains through his neck and up into his head...and almost always gets a migraine afterwards. It is hard to ride a bike and not turn your head. I try to tell him to rely on me...but considering he is the worlds worst back seat driver, I didn't really think he would be able to trust me to let him know if a car was coming.
Me..well, I can't sit for any length of time, so I am paying for the bike ride...flat on my back. It was worth it! We had a surprisingly nice day, considering we both started the day feeling crappy.