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Hardhide the Alligator

Ponchatoula, Louisiana

I thought I’d share an interesting story about a very popular alligator named Hardhide. He can be found in Ponchatoula, Louisiana and is the community’s mascot alligator, living right in the heart of downtown.

It all began in 1972 when Harhide became an attraction finding a home in a fenced pool outside of the Ponchatoula Dairy Treat. At this time alligators were an uncommon sight and in 1973 they were added to the Endangered Species List. It was the popularity of Hardhide that made the mayor adopt him and move him right to the center of town, placing him in a custom-built cage. Soon this alligator was a celebrity.

Hardhide lived until 1985 and then went to alligator heaven. A bronze plaque was placed on his cage. He had a funeral that was attended by several thousand people and his coffin was placed in a horse-drawn carriage taking him to his resting place south of the city as a Louisiana jazz band played.

Since then there has been a succession of replacements living in the same alligator cage. In 2012 the living quarter was completely refurbished with local Louisiana plants added, a shaded roof and a sprinkler system. The latest Hardhide gets coins tossed in his cage and these are then collected and deposited into a bank account under his name. He is then kept on a regular diet of chicken meat and is kept all fat and sassy.

The latest lucky alligator is a city ambassador and has many adoring fans. If at any time you go to see him and he seems not to be there don’t worry because he will most likely be at the bottom of his swamp pool.

  • Question /

    Isn’t this a great life for an alligator?

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  • Question /

    Would you like to visit?

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