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Gator Art To Cruise Ft. Lauderdale's New River

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Delayed by a day, a 40-ton gator head mounted on a self propelled barge is expected to cruise downtown Fort Lauderdale on the New River and into the Intracoastal Waterway on Monday.

Hollywood artist Lloyd Goradesky and Everglades' historian Cesar Becerra said that the launch of the "the world's largest alligator head" was pushed back due to construction delays, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Jim Martin will steer the barge art while a crane boom inside will open and close the gator's mouth to about three stories high, according to the paper.

The massive art project has cost the team approximately $200,000 so far; it was funded mostly through donor contributions, in-kind donations and the groups' own pockets.

The gator, which is called "Floating Tile Art: Gator in the Bay," is made up entirely of refurbished items that were found in a junkyard and its pointy white teeth are made up of roofing material.

"The gator project is currently in its first phase, meaning only the head and neck have been completed," Becerra told paper.

Later this year, the team will add the rest of the body, which consists primarily of 102 four foot-by-eight-foot tiles that will feature approximately 6,500 wildlife photographs Goradesky shot from inside the Everglades.

"It's safe to say something like this has never been done before," said Goradesky.

The gator will glide south and end up in Biscayne Bay as a mobile art installation for Art Basel.

Becerra and Goradesky say they hope the gator will draw attention and represent the Everglades' fragile ecosystem and restoration efforts, said Becerra.

"Sometimes you have to do something like this to get the attention of a region that often doesn't think about what it has in its own backyard," Becerra said.

The Sun-Sentinel has contributed to this report.

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