Alligator farm!

RB and I recently went to the world’s largest alligator farm, in St. Augustine, Florida. The name is kind of a misnomer, as it doesn’t really “farm” alligators for sale in any way. It’s more like a zoo, and it’s the only place in the world where you can see all 23 species of alligators and crocs.


There’s plenty to see at the Alligator Farm, including rare beasts such as the albino alligator…



… and this snub-nosed little guy …



They all hang out in big enclosures, just soaking up the sun, while staff members warn parents not to walk around with their kids on their shoulders, lest some tot tumble into one of the pens.



Their biggest alligator is this monster fellow, appropriately named Maximo. He’s about 17 feet long and he likes to swim.



The Alligator Farm also serves as a bird sanctuary, and there’s a whole long walk over a vast pond that’s surrounded by chattering storks. Weirdly, this is the worst-smelling part of the whole place. Who knew birds stank so much?



There’s also an area showcasing vultures, complete with a fake dead zebra where the staff presumably put the vultures’ meals, to fool them into thinking they’re eating fresh kills. Vultures are apparently easily fooled.



At feeding time, a staff member tosses the alligators flattened white rats. It’s a rather disgusting display, one that I was too dumbfounded by to photograph. So instead, I took a picture of this lovely Buddha, one of many on the grounds.



I’ll end with my favorite species, these needlenose guys from India.


4 responses to “Alligator farm!”

  1. T-Mo says:

    Thanks for the photos from your trip to the farm. Thanks, especially, for the calm clarity of the Buddha instead of the ravenous chompings of gators eating squashed rats.

  2. Ivy says:

    Love the pointy guys! did you see any babies? Too cute.

    Gannet colonies are about the stinkiest thins imaginable. Birds, plus a fish diet. Gak!

  3. FPS says:

    I am most amused by the fake zebra. Also I find the alligators oddly adorable given how pleased they would be to feast on my flesh.

  4. LP says:

    T-mo, we aim to please. Ommm.

    Ivy, we did not see any babies, though there were some young-ish ones. A shame, really, as I’m sure a baby alligator is every bit as cute as those pandas sliding down slides all over the Internets this week.

    FPS, we did not at first realize the zebra was fake, which prompted great consternation and fear that we’d entered possibly the most careless and cruelty-ful zoo in the history of zoos. Even though it was fake, it was still disturbing – and I can also say with certainty that vultures are the most repulsive looking flying beasts ever invented. This was not my favorite enclosure in the Alligator Farm.