Kids and adults who love a truly dangerous adventure will love a visit to the Colorado Alligator Farm. The farm's story began back in 1974 when the Young family moved from Texas to Colorado with their children. They intended to grow Tilapia fish in the warm geothermal waters on their 80-acre farm. This farm is now home to the reptile park that started when they purchased 100 year old alligators in 1987. They intended to use these gators to dispose of their dead fish, but when the gators grew quickly in the geothermal waters the locals started asking to see them. In 1990 they opened to the public and became a popular media attraction. Throughout the years, families have brought reptiles to the park after deciding they no longer wanted them.
The farm features an alligator wrestling class. A bit of a misnomer, students do not actually wrestle the gators, but they do learn how to handle them properly. The class starts in mid-March and features lessons with a 9-foot alligator. You start with smaller gators and work your way up. This is a three hour class and the cost is $100. There are classes on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There are also classes available for smaller reptile handling if you are not up for a 9-foot gator.
The farm features an outreach program that spreads the message of the biology, behavior and ecological roles reptiles play. Included in the traveling show are turtles, gators, lizards, and snakes. The program is hands on, so if you know a group that loves to see dangerous, intriguing animals up close, give the arm a call. These programs are popular with school children. It is a one hour program that can be expanded. Prices start at $200 plus mileage. Featured in the program are Doug the 50-lb tortoise, and Dream, the Albino Python.
Remembering it roots, the farm still features fish ponds that feature Rocky Mountain White Tilapia. These fish have been hybridized over the course of more than 30 years and they grow to 1 1/2 pounds in under 6 months. These fish are distributed to area restaurants and are favorites of diners in Colorado and across the country.
The land the farm is situated on is home to tons of plants and the Youngs quickly decided to plant all over-everything from radishes to cattails. It creates a unique and fascinating home for the reptiles delivered to the farm from owners who did not anticipate how large they would grow. In other cases, these residents have been abused and the farm is their last hope.
The farm features a gift shop that sells a variety of items including novelties, educational items, clothing, and toys. Your trip to the gator farm will not soon be forgotten but head home with a souvenir to share with others. Colorado Gator Farm encourages visitors to spread the word about their mission, the attraction, and the importance of the work they do. Whether you are searching for an exciting adventure or you would like to see alligators and other reptiles in a healthy environment, head to this farm.