We spent about three years chasing alligators in Everglades National Park and other gator spots in Florida. I was proud to be tasked with photographing the lifecycle of the American Alligator which included a visit to a gator hatching farm and a ride in a helicopter to photograph the nests. I was also challenged to photograph these creatures at night. (To Enlarge Image -click on magnifying glass in lower right corner of image - while Image is enlarged, click arrow for Slide Show of page with captions)
The American Alligator has been "protected" even though there are large numbers of them. The reason is that it is difficult for many to distinguish between the American Alligator and the Crocodile. The Crocodile is endangered - see photo of captive Crocodile.
Crocodile (in captivity) - note snout is longer and more pointed than gator.