Debbie Blank | The Herald-Tribune
Thane Maynard's favorite animal, the American alligator, has bounced back from near extinction. The Winter Park, Florida, native recalled, "Fifty years ago, you couldn’t find an alligator if you had to." In the 1960s as a boy, he would swim in swamps trying to catch them. The alligator was down to 6 percent of the historic population until put on the endangered list.