Our local library does a Children's Program every Wednesday during the summer months. Yesterday the program was given by Colorado Gators. There are several strange and unusual things to see and do in the San Luis Valley and the alligator farm is certainly one of them.
I forgot my camera yesterday but we went to the alligator farm 2 years ago so I will share pictures from that visit.
The first thing you can do when you go is get your picture taken with an alligator.
Parker (in yellow) was not too sure he wanted to even touch an alligator, let alone hold one! He did put his hand on the tail briefly for the picture.
After you get your picture taken, you get a certificate that says you held an alligator. The certificate is stamped by an alligator.
The gator farm also rescues unwanted pets. This is a tortoise named Precious.
She will live about 200 years and when full grown will be about 3 feet high, 3 feet wide and weigh a lot (I can't remember how much they said). The moral of her story is - research your potential pet before purchasing. These tortoises are widely available in pet stores and when purchased usually fit in the palm of your hand.
Yesterday they also brought several lizards and snakes along with the skin of a 20 foot python that died in their care. Parker asked why it died. The reason is that it's native habitat is a jungle (hot and humid) and it got too cold in our climate for it to survive. The gator farm tries very hard to provide the proper habitat for the reptiles but that's not easy when our climate is essentially opposite of what they need.
I don't know the story of this ostrich but they had several exotic birds on the premises when we visited.
This is one of the many alligators on the premises. They originally purchased alligators to eat the waste left over from the fish farm they were operating. People found out they had alligators and started showing up asking to see the alligators. Eventually they opened up to tourists and began advertising. I'm not sure why people started bringing them unwanted pets.