'Gator in the Bay' ready to set sail

Exhibit meant to bring awareness to Everglades during Art Basel Miami Beach

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A giant alligator head made from recycled parts will soon begin floating down the intracoastal for its appearance at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Artists put the final touches on Gator in the Bay as it rested in Fort Lauderdale on Monday.

"We were completely planned every detail as best as possible. Now we're just tweaking the piece to make sure it's easy to sail and easy to handle," said Lloyd Goradesky, who created the gator.

Gator in the Bay is meant to bring awareness to the Everglades.

"People don't realize that our drinking water, our quality of life is so significantly based on the quality of the Everglades," said Goradesky.

The alligator head will take about two days to get to Biscayne Bay.

"This barge can actually be disassembled into about nine pieces and shipped," said Goradesky. "The excavator, which is the yellow boom you see here, directs and guides the barge, and it also acts as the mechanism which lifts up the upper jaw."

The alligator head weighs about 30,000 pounds.

"So this big, heavy 20 ton barge, when the head lifts up, you can actually kind of see just a little bit, not much, but a lean about an inch," said Goradesky. "This is a friendly gator. There's nothing to be scared about."

The gator will be at the Miami Yacht Club on Thursday.

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