Seven feisty American alligators have found new digs at the Australian Reptile Park.
The alligators, which are between five and seven years old and weigh about 100 kilograms each, were released into the waters of the communal lagoon at the park yesterday.
It took at least two keepers to release each alligator and plenty of safety measures to protect the reptiles as well as the workers.
American alligators have one of the strongest jaw pressures of any animal and one bite can be limb- or life-threatening.
The operations manager, Tim Faulkner, said the alligators had been bred at the park over the past five years.
Their release brings the number of alligators in the lagoon to more than 40. Alligators were first imported from the United States in the early 1970s.
Winter is the best time to release the animals as the cooler weather limits aggression.