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Colorado Gators Reptile Park, Mosca
(4.1/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
Colorado Gators Reptile Park was opened to the public in 1990, in Mosca, Colorado, United States. Located 17mi north of Alamosa, Colorado, it started as a tilapia farm in 1977, and now includes a bird sanctuary, reptile rescue, education, and display, and a biodome.A geothermal well on the property creates ponds and wetlands for the alligators, but also provides habitat and food for many water-birds and waterfowl. The "Two Mile Creek Wildlife Habitat" lets visitors view alligators, reptiles, and birds in a natural setting, and to go fishing, boating, and picnicking. Over 125 species of birds have been sighted at the farm.HistoryIn 1977, Erwin and Lynne Young purchased 80acre on which they started a farm to grow tilapia and African perch. The farm includes a geothermal well that is used to keep the water at a temperature appropriate for the fish. In 1987, they purchased 100 1-year old alligators to help dispose of fish-processing waste. The alligators grew, and locals wanted to see them, so the farm was opened to the public in 1990.Over the years, the farm has also become home to many reptiles that are unwanted, abused, and sometimes dangerous, when people discover that they can no longer care for them. One of the goals of the farm is to help educate the public as to the challenges and dangers of trying to keep reptiles as pets.EventsThe farm holds "Gatorfest" on the first weekend in August each year. This is world's first Gator Rodeo and Roundup, and includes roping, riding, and barrel racing.EducationEducation programs created by the Colorado Gators Reptile Park aim to teach people about the biology, behavior, and ecological role of reptiles, as well as which reptiles make good pets and which will eventually get big enough to become impossible to handle. The programs include live specimens such as turtles, tortoises, alligators, snakes, and lizards, some of which the audience is allowed to touch.
For travelers who use our world travel planner, Mosca holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Colorado Gators Reptile Park and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • After going to LA for vacation and see a lot of alligators and a few shows I looked up alligators handling and found Colorado Gators. My wife and I signed up and made the trip from Oklahoma. It was gr...  more »
  • This sanctuary for unwanted overgrown reptiles is delightfully folksy and low key. You start your tour with an option to get your picture taken with a juvenile alligator - they take a picture with you...  more »
  • This place is a bit bizarre, it's not like a huge well funded tourist attraction so it's got a strange atmosphere but we absolutely loved it! You immediately get given a gator to hold (after stroking ...  more »
Google
  • Its a cool place where you can see a lot of reptiles up close, touch a few if you like, and see a working fish farm in operation in the middle of the Colorado desert. It is a working farm so don't expect it to be pretty. That said, all the animals we saw looked healthy and had decent accommodations. Aside from their initial stock of alligators in 1987 these are all rescue animals, discarded pets and the like. They also try to educate people not to keep most of these animals as pets. There are many great specimens here and some you can take your time in checking them out as well as learn a bit about the animals and the workings of a fish farm / greenhouse / reptile rescue / tourist attraction.
  • I recently went to the Colorado Gators and Reptile Park. I took the alligator wrestling class. My trainer Josh was excellent. I felt he prepared me as much as possible and did not go all "cowboy". He was relaxed and made me feel relaxed until I stepped in there with the alligators lol. All in all you will learn to safely handle alligators as well as help the gators with any injuries they might have. Great Job!
  • Fun stop for our toddler! Lots of reptiles and birds and tortoises for him to see, and even a few to touch. We spent about an hour seeing everything he was interested in. Glad we finally made the stop!
  • Have been to the farm two or three times. I took my mother to the farm and she loved the place. Really thought seeing the gators were something else. She even got to hold a baby gator. So she was excited about that. A great place to go visit if in the area.
  • This place is amazing. I'm an avid reptile enthusiast with my own critter collection back at home so when I saw the signs for this place i had to stop. Everyone looks healthy and well loved. The sulcata tortoises free roaming around were adorable and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly. There's lots of rescue reptiles besides the gators too. We saw a nice array snakes, monitors, and tortoises. When I come back I'm definitely signing up for the Gator wresting.