Alligator missing half of jaw named after Dolly Parton song

Gatorland chooses 'Jawlene,' inspired by 1973 song 'Jolene'
'Jawlene' alligator with half jaw gets name
Posted at 9:10 AM, Sep 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-29 09:14:52-04

(CNN) — The alligator that was taken to Gatorland after being reported wandering around central Florida with the top half of its jaw missing now has a name, the park announced in a social media video Wednesday.

And the inspiration comes from a decades-old country music hit about a beautiful romantic rival.

"Jawlene," named for the 1973 Dolly Parton song "Jolene," continues to receive treatment in isolation from the other Gatorland animals. The female gator has gained about 0.3 grams, or 0.01 ounces, according to crocodilian enrichment coordinator Savannah Boan.

gator attack victim.png


Daughter grieves mother's death after incident involving alligator

Mary O'Connell
11:19 AM, Sep 26, 2023

Gatorland, which took in the gator earlier this month, chose Jawlene from a list of names submitted by parkgoers and fans of the viral reptile, park CEO Mark McHugh said in the video.

McHugh also shared that Jawlene reached a new milestone Wednesday by eating two mice completely on her own using the back of her tongue.

The park has been in conversation with animal and human prosthetics makers about a potential prosthetic upper jaw for Jawlene but has decided to hold off while the gator gets comfortable in her new environment and puts on more weight, McHugh added.

"This little gator is an absolute treasure," he said.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.