Did you know -- alligator heads, skulls & claw novelty items support species conservation? That’s right, alligators were once hunted to the brink of extinction, but thanks to a concerned American public and savvy governments, our nation’s beloved reptile made a comeback. Now the demand for taxidermied alligator novelty items incentivizes landowners to conserve their swampland.
So what did happen to the American alligator?
Since the mid-1920s alligators were heavily hunted for their high-dollar leather hides and souvenir baby alligators. The species recovered somewhat during WWII. However from 1950s to 1960s, fashionistas’ desire for alligator leather and children’s longing for an exotic pet friend nearly drove the species off the earth.
The government banned these sales, but poachers, alligator farm thieves, gator egg snatchers and black market dealers continued their nefarious operations.
Hides were processed at underground warehouses along the East Coast and shipped out to Italy to be sewn into high-end bags, shoes, belts & wallets. New York City, the largest alligator leather market in the world, even banned the sale of alligator leather items, but to no avail; the black market made the future of the American alligator dim.
Thanks to public education campaigns by conservation groups, the American public rallied to Save the Alligator. Government officials began cracking the illegal hides trading circle. Enforcement succeeded, and the alligator population recovered.
Alligator hunting was banned for several seasons in an effort to curtail poaching. Louisiana was the first state to eventually re-allow hunting in 1972, a decision met with national criticism. The fact was: alligator numbers had re-stabilized. This experimental season (and to this day), a specified hide cut is announced the day before the season opens to prevent poached hides from entering the market.
With baby alligators no longer sold to children traveling back home, the next best thing became the hottest gator novelty item: preserved alligator heads. These heads are salvaged from alligators raised or hunted for their meat. Today, the alligator is an official symbol of the State of Louisiana. And what’s cooler than a taxidermied modern-day dinosaur?!
Alligator heads, skulls, claws & teeth are now popular novelty items. Heads are environmentally-friendly souvenirs, compared to plastic trinkets. Nature is the best souvenir maker. These meaningful novelty items inspire wonder of our natural world in kids and kids-at-heart alike.
Thank you for supporting conservation & environmental sustainability with your Alligator King purchase.