Media Release: American alligators get presidential treatment


A NATIONWIDE competition to name St Andrews Aquarium’s two young American alligators who arrived last month has resulted in triumph for 11 year-old Libby Findlay, from the Isle of Man, selecting two very important names for the snappy pair: Barack and Michelle.

Members of the public were asked to put forward their two favourite names for the male and female American alligators. And with hundreds of entries, it was a difficult choice for the aquarium team to pick a winner.

Libby’s suggestion of name the stateside snappers after the President and First Lady was thought to be in keeping with the aquarium’s tradition to name its animals after famous persons.

Barack and Michelle now join a star-studded line up that includes Kate and Wills, the Meerkats, and a waddle of Humboldt Penguins named after tennis star, Andy Murray’s ‘leading ladies’.

Barack and Michelle, although currently young and small, are expected to grow quickly to between 3m and 5m in length.

John Mace, manager of St Andrews Aquarium, commented: “It was a tough decision to pick a winner our of all the suggestions, but we loved Libby’s idea of naming our Stateside snappers Barack and Michelle.

“We’re now wondering if we should be changing their enclosure landscape to the White House, but for the moment they seem to be enjoying their tropical rainforest conditions.

“Since arriving last month, the alligators have settled in really well and visitors are always commenting on how cute the baby alligators are. And, of course, if the President and his family ever want to visit, they are more than welcome!”

Libby, who lives on the Isle of Man, won a cuddly fish and a family pass to the aquarium for her efforts and is looking forward to visiting Barack and Michelle when she next visits St Andrews.

PHOTO CALL: Wednesday 22 January at 10:30am at St Andrews Aquarium, Fife.

For more information on St Andrews Aquarium, please visit

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Contact: Kirsten Dunn
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