Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo, Hot Springs
The Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo is a privately owned zoo located on Whittington Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas.Before you head to Hot Springs, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Hot Springs travel route app , to make sure you see all that Hot Springs has to offer, including Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo.
The farm raises alligators and has done so since it was founded in 1902. The farm includes a small museum with a collection of mounted alligators, a souvenir shop and a snack bar. It includes the mummified carcass purporting to be a "Merman", similar to ones held in Ripley's Believe It or Not! museums.
The main alligator pit contains a small headstone, a memorial to somebody's fox terrier that was killed by alligators on that spot in 1906.
H. L. Campbell founded the farm in 1902 because he thought the Hot Springs area needed a tourist attraction in addition to the thermal baths. He sold it to D. S. Older some time before 1929. During this time it was called the "Hot Springs Gator Farm", and had up to 1500 alligators and included a small museum.
The farm was sold to Jack Bridges, Sr. and his wife in 1945, and the name was changed to the Arkansas Alligator Farm. The Bridges added a gift shop, and well as other animals such as monkeys, raccoons, and logger-head turtles. Jack Bridges Jr. and his wife Sue purchased the zoo in 1965, and added more animals, as well as a petting zoo and a small museum.
In addition to about 200 alligators, the zoo now includes cougars, turkeys, chickens, wild boars, turtles, bobcats, and ring-tailed lemurs.
Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo Reviews
All 3 of us got to hold a 5 year old alligator. Our toddler enjoyed the petting zoo and looking at the animals. Probably would try to go when it's feeding time next trip. more »
I was there 2X during the last week of March, so the alligators were still housed inside. We enjoyed holding them and learning about them. the animal handlers are very knowledgable and clearly love th... more »
I visited this place back when I was in the 3rd grade (1963). It has changed a bit as it does not have the "IQ" zoo now and dubbed a petting zoo within the area. However, taking my granddaughter and her two young boys there was awesome. As I sat at one of the benches of the petting zoo it brought wonderful memories of the entire place. I never imagined I would be able to make it a family tradition when I visited in the 3rd grade. Truly awesome. The family loved it too.
My wife and kids liked it a lot, especially holding the young alligator and feeding the gators. The young lady working in the alligator pit was extremely patient with my kids and I wish I had given her a bigger tip. I really liked the Fiji Mermaid display. I wish we could have petted the sheep but the lock was on their enclosure.
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