At the Alligator Farm

By Angela Daidone |

The Alligator Farm, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was founded in 1893. At its current location, 999 Anastasia Blvd. in St. Augustine, Fla., the zoological park serves to entertain and educate guests.

When you think of the Alligator Farm, well of course you think—alligators! These are American Alligators, just bathing in the sun. They are shifting around, and when one moves, they all move.

They are typically found in the South Eastern region of the United States.

To find out more about these gators, at 11am, a herpetologist enters the lagoon and begins the “Realm of the Alligator Talk.” This is when guests can learn all about the facts, features and functions of the American Alligator.

This particular herpetologist, who simply refers to himself as a keeper in the reptile department is Cody Bartolini. Although many may fear being surrounded by so many alligators, he says his fear is actually replaced with respect.

This may look like he is disrespecting the alligator, but he isn’t. The stick comes in handy to rid the gator’s hunger response.

At noon, a herpetologist once again enters the lagoon and begins the alligator feeding. You can see the white rat in Bartolini’s right hand. The “alligator-feeding show” attracts many people. You can see them gathered in the background. A few rules are mentioned before anything begins. First and foremost, no children are allowed on anyone’s shoulders, loose items must be secured and the final thing mentioned is the fact that the railing isn’t a bench installed for children to sit on, but rather to keep the alligators from escaping. Following these rules…feeding begins. Standing just inches away, he wiggles the rat to get the alligator’s attention.

The show lasts for about 20 minutes and various gators get fed.

This is a female gator. She failed to see where the rat landed. According to Bartolini, American Alligators have incredible eyesight; however, it takes them longer to see what’s to the side of them because their eyes are on the top of their heads. Even though the Alligator Farm is known for its alligators,

It does house other reptiles like the venomous king cobra, which is blending into its glass container exhibit. It doesn’t appear …as happy as the gator does, with its big smile and…as Bartolini said in regards to the alligators, “How can you be angry at something that smiles at you all the time?”

Related Story: Alligator Farm reptile charmers accept risky job

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment on "At the Alligator Farm"

Leave a comment