We like to have celebrities on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show, and today we had a visit from the famous “Wally Gator”.  (He’s a swingin’ alligator in the swamp).  It wasn't even wiggly tail Wednesday, but he did wag his tail from time to time.

David Critchlow, of the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary brought “Wally” to the studio, and even though “Wally” didn’t say much, David said a lot.

Tim Collins, David Critchlow, Wally the Gator-TSM Photo

The sanctuary, located just outside of Athens, Michigan, is the home of about 130 “rescue” gators from twenty states.   Critchlow says they do not buy any alligators.   They’re the only alligator for about 900 miles.

Wally is about six years old and is a couple of feet long.  Critchlow says he’ll live 80-100 years and could grow to 12 feet or more.

Wally the Gator-TSM Photo

He says they start training the gators to understand language when the get to be about five feet long.  He says they can hear individual words better than dogs and they can distinguish between colors.

The Sanctuary is expanding their children’s area where kids can feel and even hold the gators.

Critchlow says they rescued their first gator about 25 years ago, and started the sanctuary about 10 years ago.

They’ll have their annual spring release on April 28th and 29th, where they’ll move all 130 gators into their summer habitats.


Do they wrestle gators?  What do they do with them in the winter?   When are they open?  Check out the video!



Tim Collins and Wally...mmm, smells like Fritos! TSM Photo