by Heather Lowe
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is known for their crocodilians, but they turned their attention to turtles at the end of 2013. Throughout November and December, the Alligator Farm raised funds for the Turtle Survival Alliance through their ‘donate a dollar’ program at the gate, in addition to piggy banks throughout the park where guests could deposit donations. During the last weekend of November, they also hosted a special event at the park, featuring turtles and tortoises, where they sold TSA merchandise and other items to benefit turtles.
The sudden loss of colleague Steve Gott (Jacksonville Zoo) at the end of October moved the staff to add one more special event to their calendar. Knowing Steve’s lifelong passion for turtles, St. Augustine Alligator Farm put together “A Toast for Turtles” on December 14 in his honor. This evening event featured a silent auction and dinner and was well attended, despite torrential rains that persisted throughout the evening. In total, more than $4,000 was raised for turtle conservation by all events combined! We are truly grateful for the work that the Alligator Farm staff put into organizing each of these events and are proud to have been selected to help honor Steve’s memory in this way.