20 baby alligators spotted at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge along Texas coast

Group of alligators is called a congregation

Alligator spotted in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in July 2021

ARANSAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Texas – A congregation of baby alligators was recently spotted at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Kevin Doxstater, a volunteer at the refuge, snapped a photo of about 20 baby alligators he saw while hiking the Heron Flats Trail over the weekend.

“These little ones probably hatched last year,” said refuge staff in a Facebook post.

One of our volunteers spotted about 20 baby alligators while hiking the Heron Flats Trail this weekend. These little...

Posted by Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on Monday, March 21, 2022

Female alligators lay around 35-50 eggs on average between June and July. According to the refuge, baby alligators typically stay with their mother for up to two years.

“Some 80 percent of young alligators fall victim to predators such as birds, raccoons, bobcats, otters, snakes, large bass and larger alligators,” according to the Smithsonian. “Females aggressively defend their young during these first few years. Crocodilians are one of the only orders of reptiles that offer maternal care to their young.”

One commenter on the refuge’s Facebook post said they noticed 12 baby alligators during their visit on Saturday, in addition to “hogs, javelinas, deer, frogs, snakes, crabs, butterflies and an amazing variety of birds.”

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Gulf Coast at 1 Wildlife Circle in Austwell. It’s a roughly three-hour drive from downtown San Antonio.

Entry fees for visitors are determined by vehicle occupancy. It’s $3 for one adult in a vehicle and $5 per vehicle for two or more adults. Anyone ages 18 and younger are free. There are also a number of passes that grant free entry into the park.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.