The injured reptile “Jawlene” was named after the country music legend’s 1973 hit Jolene after it was discovered at Wilson’s Landing Park in Sanford, Florida, in late August.
The gator’s tongue was fully visible due to the injury along with its snout torn from below the eyeballs.
It remains unknown how the injury was sustained.
Orlando theme park and wildlife reserve, Gatorland, soon began caring for the animal and encouraged parkgoers to submit name suggestions.
CEO Mark McHugh explained why the name was eventually chosen in a video posted to the park’s Facebook.
“This alligator is an absolute treasure, we are so in love with her. But another American treasure is Dolly Parton,” he said.
“We love Dolly Parton so much. And one of the names that really grew on us was a take on one of Dolly’s famous songs. So we’re going to name this little gator, Jawlene.”
Mr McHugh said Jawlene hit a new recovery milestone this week by eating two mice on its own.
It’s hoped Jawlene will eventually be able to be fitted with a potential prosthetic upper jaw after she puts on more weight