Before Universal, Before SeaWorld, Before Disney there were smaller 'road side' attractions. People came to Florida for the beaches and the sunshine. While here they were presented with opportunities to enjoy a little piece of Florida at places like Cypress Gardens and Gatorland.
This morning I saw on The Disney Blog that Gatorland was being ravished by a three-alarm fire. He gives a first hand account of the fire and also offers up a link to a set of photos taken by his wife. Luckily no human life was lost, and only 3 animals, as most of the animals were housed in other parts of the park. It made the news also, of course, and you can find stories here and here.
Here is a link to a slide show that showed the huge gator jaws that were the unique entrance with flames behind it. I feel so sorry for the owners and the employees... although they were saying that they would have the attraction open again, possibly within a week! This is a family owned and run business, and I am glad to see that they are going to reopen.