SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — As the housing crisis worsens in the Bay Area, there’s one San Jose resident who has no worries: Bayou the Alligator, who just got a deluxe new residence at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.

The five-foot-long, approximately 10-year-old alligator, adopted by the zoo in 2013, has a new home on exhibit to the public. More than 4,000 people showed up for the exhibit’s grand opening Saturday at the 16-acre zoo on Story Road, spokeswoman Charlotte Orr said.

Bayou is likely the only San Jose resident to have acquired a new residence for $400,000, the cost of his new digs. The median price of a home in San Jose was $1,080,300 in April, according to real estate site Zillow.

Donations funded Bayou’s new residence, which includes such amenities as a heated pool, Orr said.
“He has a heated pool so he can swim when it’s cold out,” Orr said. “He sleeps in a night house that has heated flooring.”

Donations funded the exhibit, which was years in the making, Orr said.

Bayou was rescued from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in 2013 by the Department of Fish & Wildlife when he was only about two feet long, and he needs a new residence to have room to grow, Orr said. Alligators can grow to 11 feet or longer.

American alligators play an important role in wetland ecosystems. More on how to help preserve California wetlands can be found on the website of the State Water Resources Control Board.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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