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Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo, Hot Springs

(280+ reviews on the web)
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This Privately owned zoo is a wonderful place to visit. We enjoyed ourselves very much. The zoo is well kept and feeding the animals was nice. All the visitors that were here during our visit really s...  more »
  • It rained during our visit, but we really enjoyed listening to the owner and "alligator assistant" who took care to teach the public the truth about alligators rather than television hype. The animals...  more »
  • Not nearly enough to do for the price you pay! We were in and out pretty quickly. Save your money for something else!  more »