Black Jack: Last of the Big Alligators

Black Jack: Last of the Big Alligators

By: Robert M. McClung
Published by: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: 1967
Series: The Animal Life Cycle Series

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Against the setting of Georgia's great Okefenokee Swamp, Robert McClung recreates a rounded picture of an alligator's life and its environment. He vividly describes the trees, flowers, birds, and animals of the swamp, as the slowly moving seasons change the color and mood of the landscape.

Black Jack, a typical alligator of this area, first clambered down the side of his nest and slithered into the water on a day in early September. The tiny creature lived on insects supplemented by scraps from his mother's meals. While growing up, Black Jack faced many dangers. One night a great horned owl took one of his brothers, and later on that same night, a big raccoon caught another in shallow water. By early November, only sixteen of the original twenty-nine young alligators had survived. Black Jack had many narrow escapes himself, and later, when mature, he had to contend with drought and fire. There were joyful moments too, like the thrill of learning to roar for the first time. But all his life Black Jack could never completely escape from his chief enemy, man.

An update on the current status of the alligator is included in this edition of Black Jack.

From the dust jacket of the Linnet edition

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