Friday, December 26, 2014

Everglades Alligator Farm - Where the Wild Things Are!

A very large alligator at the Everglades Alligator Farm
(photo courtesy www.everglades.com)
No trip to Florida would be complete without seeing an alligator or two. Even better, how about going to a place where you can see more than 2,000 alligators in their natural habitat?

Just 45 minutes south of Miami, the Everglades Alligator Farm is South Florida's oldest, real, working alligator farm. Unlike other alligator farms, Everglades Alligator Farm doesn't process alligators and sell their meat and skins. They collect alligator eggs and sell them to other alligator farms around the state.

Thousands of alligators including their famous 14 foot long "Grandpa Gator" is not all you'll see at the Everglades Alligator Farm. Florida is one of the only places on earth where crocodiles and alligators both live, so there are plenty of crocs, too. Exotic snakes, Florida panthers, exotic birds and many more native Florida wildlife species can also be seen at the farm.

Just looking at a bunch of reptiles would get pretty boring. Fortunately, there are a number of fabulous interactive activities and shows for you to enjoy. One of the most popular things at the farm, the alligator shows demonstrates ancient Indian alligator capturing techniques, commonly referred to as gator wrestling. You'll learn a lot about how these creatures move and what to do if you ever encounter one in the wild. After the show, a baby alligator is brought out that folks can hold and get their pictures taken with.

Another popular show is the alligator feeding show where you'll watch more than 500 gators vie for every bit of food thrown their way. You'll learn how gators eat in the wild and the true meaning of "survival of the fittest."

Airboat ride at the Everglades Alligator Farm
(photo courtesy www.everglades.com)
The snake shows put on by the Everglades Alligator Farm are definitely super popular. You'll get to see Florida native species as well as exotic snakes not commonly found in Florida. You'll also learn how to identify snakes so that if you ever encounter one in the wild, you'll know whether it is dangerous as well as the detrimental effects of introducing new snake breeds into the ecosystem. At the end of the show, they even pass around snakes so that you can hold them and take a photo with them.

Perhaps the most popular thing at the Everglades Alligator Farm are the airboat rides. Glide across rivers of grass that have no more than a foot of water beneath them and see all kinds of Florida wildlife in the natural Florida Everglades. Boat drivers like to show off, so don't be surprised if you get a little wet as they do 360's in the water!

The Everglades Alligator Farm is located at 40351 SW 192 Avenue, Homestead, FL 33034 and they are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. Very affordable, admission prices are as follows:

Adult Child (age 4-11)
Alligator Farm and Shows Only $15.50 $10.50
Alligator Farm, Shows and Airboat Ride $23.00 $15.50

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