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Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo, Hot Springs

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
2.6/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web
The Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo is a privately owned zoo located on Whittington Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas.The farm raises alligators and has done so since it was founded in 1902. The farm includes a small museum with a collection of mounted alligators, a souvenir shop and a snack bar. It includes the mummified carcass purporting to be a "Merman", similar to ones held in Ripley's Believe It or Not! museums.The main alligator pit contains a small headstone, a memorial to somebody's fox terrier that was killed by alligators on that spot in 1906.HistoryH. L. Campbell founded the farm in 1902 because he thought the Hot Springs area needed a tourist attraction in addition to the thermal baths. He sold it to D. S. Older some time before 1929. During this time it was called the "Hot Springs Gator Farm", and had up to 1500 alligators and included a small museum.The farm was sold to Jack Bridges, Sr. and his wife in 1945, and the name was changed to the Arkansas Alligator Farm. The Bridges added a gift shop, and well as other animals such as monkeys, raccoons, and logger-head turtles. Jack Bridges Jr. and his wife Sue purchased the zoo in 1965, and added more animals, as well as a petting zoo and a small museum.Babe Ruth Home runIn 1918, the Alligator Farm became part of Babe Ruth baseball lore due to its location across from Whittington Park/Ban Johnson Park. Playing in a spring training game with the Boston Red Sox on St. Patrick's Day, Ruth hit a home run that traveled an astonishing 573 feet, over Whittington Avenue and landedin the second pond at the alligator farm. At the time Ruth was a star pitcher. However, he soon became a legendary hitter, in part due to his home run that day. A prominent marker in the Alligator Farm recognizes the event.
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  • We enjoyed this place. The goats are too cute. We got there a couple days after they had loved all the gators inside. Enjoyed getting to hold one and even spent the extra $1 to feed them. Would defini...  read more »
  • We were in town on Columbus Day and EVERYTHING we wanted to do was either closed or not opening until late in the afternoon. We finally stumbled upon this place and decided to check it out. They had a...  read more »
  • Loved coming here with my nieces. They fed the deer, pet the goats and saw some huge mountain lions...... 
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