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Thursday October 23, 2014
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Kangaroos on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.

 

continued

The Marshes' romance with wildlife reached a new level of commitment on August 5, 2005. That morning, a wooden crate was discovered at Animal Kingdom's door. Inside was Al the alligator.

At that point, Al already weighed ten pounds (he now weighs about eighty-six). The Marshes figured that, like many unwisely selected pets, he had been abandoned when he became too aggressive or expensive to keep. Rescue facilities couldn't care for such a large animal, and zoos weren't interested. But Al had no fear of humans, and that would have put him in danger had he been released in a swamp.

Al became the first of Creature Conservancy's 590 residents (not counting the cockroaches). He now lolls about in his heated indoor cement swamp, surrounded with foliage native to his natural surroundings. A boardwalk leads to what will be his private outdoor swamp this summer.

The pristine landscape and buildings are a testament to the hard work of Steve, Kim, and the conservancy's roughly three dozen volunteers. They're using pickaxes to help create Al's new swamp and other habitats, while wishing for a $5,000 trencher attachment for their Bobcat tractor.

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