Alligator Farm - St Augustine - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Days Out
On our last day in St Augustine before we headed back to Orlando and Disney we decided to pay a visit to the Alligator Farm as other guests staying at our hotel had visited it the previous day and recommended that we go.
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is one of Florida' s oldest zoological attractions opening in the 1890s. Over the years it has had millions of visitors keen to see these captive reptiles who have long been regarded as mysterious, dangerous and frightening at the same time. I think this Alligator Farm has helped people feel less threatened by the species.
Adult admission is approx $21 and children three to eleven years approx $11 whilst children under three years of age are free. We were surprised how busy the farm was on the day that we visited.
First of all we saw Maximo who is the largest animal at the park at over 15 feet long and weighing well over 1000 pounds. Maximo is a Saltwater Crocodile or ' Saltie' as they call them in Australia. You can also get a great close up of Maximo from the underwater viewing windows.
Then we went to the Albino Alligators. Apparently these are rare creatures from the bayous of Louisiana, albino alligators have inspired the legend that those who gaze upon their beauty will receive good fortune, we stared at them for a long time!
Onto the Land of Crocodiles where we saw Alligators, Crocodiles, Caiman, and Gharial from the Americas, Africa, and Asia, I did not realize they were so many crocodiles.
We really enjoyed the Wading bird rookery. Here we were able to explore the native swamp exhibit where loads of wading birds fly in to roost in the late afternoons. Herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, and wood storks were amongst the ones that we saw. I was amazed to find out that these birds find evening roosts above the alligators safe in the knowledge that alligators will keep tree-climbing predators away. Apparently from April to July the birds are in full breeding plumage and build nests and raise familes right in front of visitors, I would love to see this.
My Father loved the Exotic Birds and Mammals section. Australian kookaburras and emus, South American toucans and parrots, Asian pheasants, and African turacos are just a few of the exotic birds to be seen here. The mammal collection also includes seven different species of endangered monkeys ranging in size from the world' s smallest monkey, the mouse-sized pygmy marmoset, to the large South American spider monkey, Father was fascinated and spent about an hour here.
There were also the shows. Alligator Feeding was where we saw alligators leaping for food, the sound of their jaws when they got their food was really creepy.
The Realm of the Alligator show was full of little known facts about Florida' s dangerous animals and was educational as well as entertaining.
Finally we saw Scales and Tails where we learnt more about snakes and other reptiles, it actually made you feel more loving towards them!
We enjoyed our half day at the Alligator Farm we were glad we had been recommended to go.
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Page added on: 12 January 2010
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