Bayou Pierre Alligator Park, Natchitoches, LA

Alligators are fascinating to children and adults. The fact that alligators live in Louisiana just adds to the attractions one can find when visiting the state. Bayou Pierre Alligator Park is located in Natchitoches Louisiana. The city is located near Sibley Lake and the Red River. It is set in the northwest section of Louisiana, though it is not as north as Shreveport. The city was founded by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis in 1714. The city was first a French outpost along the river. The French were in the area as early as 1699. Before that it was a settlement for the Natchitoches Indians, hence the name.

Bayou Pierre Alligator Park is outside the city limits of Natchitoches in Cajun country. The park has 5 acres of land. Cajun music, cuisine, and the typical Louisiana culture can be found at the park and in the area. The park has hundreds of gators so there are hourly feeding shows. Visitors are allowed to take part in the feeding shows, to touch the alligators, and even have their picture taken with the alligators. The Gator Bites snack shop actually sells gator meals.

The park has protected walkways and platforms visitors can step out on to view the different gators. There are 4 foot gator babies and then adults which reach up to 1000 pounds. They are in their natural habitat, the swampy waters and marsh land. They will swirl, splash, lunge, and even leap when it is dinner time. The path way takes visitors to Alligator Island in which you are in the middle of the 100 alligators at the park. This is where the show will occur in which the park staff tells visitors about alligators, what they eat, their habitat, and much more. The park is about conservation of the land and the alligators. There is a movie to watch at the park to give individuals more information about the park, alligators, and their behavior. It is inside so visitors can escape the heat of Louisiana. The film lasts for ten minutes.

From there it is possible to tour the reptile habitat. Lizards, skinks, water dragons, monitors, iguanas, caiman crocodiles, and other animals are inside. Stumpy is a rescued alligator which has no tail. Then there is Myrtle who is 50 years old. She is a snappy turtle. Baby alligators can be found swimming in aquariums in the reptile hut.

The park is like a village with an old barber shop, sheriff's office, store, and school house. It is in this area that pigmy goats, peacocks and other small critters can be fed. Another show at the park is called Castaway Island. At this location pilots "crashed'' onto an island in a boat. They are surrounded by alligators, whom they feed. It is a relatively new show at the park.

The park also has a new resident alligator called Edgar. He is an albino. There are only 30 true albino alligators in the world, which means they are quite rare. These alligators cannot blend due to their pigmentation, so they are unable to hide and hunt for food.

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