St. Augustine Alligator Farm Review
Hubby and I went to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park a few weeks ago. This is my review of the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, as well as photographs and tidbits of information about the zoo.
The park opened in 1893 and moved to its current location in the 1920s. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is open 365 days of the year, from 9-5 (summer hours 9-6).
The cost of admission for Adults (ages 12+, $24.99, 2019 price) and Children (ages 3-11, $13.99, 2019 price) as well as discounted rates for military, people in wheelchairs, resident discounts and membership pricing. Here is the pricing list.
I am adding some new images and updating some information in this post. Hubby and I went back to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in February of 2019. Sonny-boy and his SO accompanied us as they were also vacationing in St. Augustine.
This time, the weather was glorious (the mid-70s and sunshine) and we got to see them feed the alligators.
Now, since the last time we were there (see below), it was too cold for the reptiles to be fed, and this time we actually saw the feeding, we could make the comparison… and there is none: go on a warm day when they feed!! It was quite the “show”.
I am going to emphasize the alligator feeding as that is what we missed out on last time. Except for the prices, there really has not been that big a difference (that we could tell) in the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in the last four years.
This is Jim Darlington, curator of reptiles at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. He’s either the bravest man in the world, crazy, or knows what he is doing. And those three are not mutually exclusive.
Sonny-boy actually flinched when one of the alligators hissed at Jim Darlington!
These beautiful birds are in the trees surrounding the zoo’s “swamp”. They are glorious, and there are a ton of them!
Here are a buncha slugs sunning themselves on a little dirt patch without a care in the world.
And then there is this guy who apparently set his watch for lunch.
And then Mr. Darlington sets down a bag of alligator food and catches the attention of a few of the inhabitants.
So, now it is feeding time at the zoo, and it is quite a production.
The whole feeding process is very informative. That really is alligator food!
But then comes the “good stuff” which were rats and chicken. Mr. Darlinton made a few “rat piñatas” which he dangled over the deck and it was like a feeding frenzy.
He also tossed some in by hand. This is a crocodile (I think). There are two in this swamp among the alligators.
It was quite the production! If you are in the St. Augustine area, this really is worth the price of admission.
Ok, not really – although I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pixar Up! people used this Southern Cassowary as an inspiration.
Below is my original post with our February 2015 visit. I updated the prices to 2019 prices (they had gone up $2 in four years):
Hubby and I arrived at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm bright and early on a Tuesday morning… after we had gone to breakfast and dropped Max off at the groomer. Ok so it may have been closer to noon than early morning, but it was bright out! Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that warm (the high 50s), so we missed feeding time at the zoo.
Let me back up a bit… Hubby went to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm because I wanted to go. He was a good sport about it, and we wandered around for about 2 hours. We did not see everything, but we saw the highlights. I took over 300 photos, some of which were overexposed because I didn’t check my camera setting. Arrrrrgh
When we arrived at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Hubby nearly had a heart attack over the ticket price. By the time we finished with the zoo, he admitted that the price was more than fair. That is a lotta gators to feed! The clerk at admissions did ask us if we belonged to X, Y or Z to get a discount. While we do own property in St Augustine (St John’s County), we are not residents and do not have a Florida driver’s license, so do not qualify for a resident discount.
After we paid the admission fee our hands were stamped, and we were given a map and sent inside.
NOTE: BRING QUARTERS!! Seriously! I wish we had known to either bring quarters or to break a few dollars at the admission counter. Or, even better – I wish that there was a change machine by Alligator Swamp so we could have bought some pelts to feed the alligators. BRING QUARTERS!! and have your camera ready went you toss in those pellets!
So, let’s head in…
There is an hourly show at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm:
10 am Florida’s Forest friends (theater)
11 am Realm of the Alligator (alligator lagoon)
Noon Alligator Feeding (alligator lagoon)
1 pm Scales and Tales (theater)
2 pm Rainforest Review (theater)
3 pm Alligator Feeding (alligator lagoon)
4 pm Realm of the Alligator (alligator lagoon)
5 pm Scales and Tales (theater)
We didn’t do any of that. Since there was no noon feeding, and we left before 2 pm, we really didn’t have the opportunity to take in a show.
The first resident we encountered was this beautiful toucan.
Around the corner, we saw this albino alligator. He has red eyes and is the only alligator that can get a sunburn. His name is “Mr. Bones”. Across the way were five baby albino alligators and we lost the game of “how many baby albino alligators can you find?” because our answer was a big fat zero!
Next up was alligator lagoon. There were big ones to the left of us, juveniles to the right.
I wish I had taken photos a bit faster of this guy. He was on the move, and it would have made an excellent gif!
Apparently, this bird has a death wish.
There were a lot of birds and turtles in with the alligators. I wish I knew why they didn’t eat them (or each other for that matter). Maybe if I had attended a theater session, I’d have found out?
The juveniles have no respect for personal space.
We encountered this lady on our way to the swamp. She told us that the alligator she was holding was 5-6 years old, and his (her?) mouth was taped because the bite pressure was that of a few hundred pounds.
She told us that alligators they clamp on to their food, and they snap off pieces by breaking off pieces of their prey.
See those arrows? As we started to walk away, she unzipped her jacket to show us what she was hiding: a snake!!
We moved away fast after that.
We then went over to see Maximo, and boy am I kicking myself! He showed us his pretty teeth (one was broken), his closed throat, and basically postured for 10 minutes while a group of about 10 of us stood an admired. And when I got home, I found all my photos too over exposed to post!! He truly is an enormous crocodile.
Sydney (Maximo’s mate) was just hanging out at the bottom of the pool.
One of their offspring scared the crud out of me when it jumped into the water in the tank across from the pool!
Next up was Gomek, and if you have the time read up on this guy. He has quite the story!
There was also a short story about how Gomek came to be at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, his The Guinness World Record, and more. It was extremely interesting, so if you do go to the Alligator Farm, stop and watch the presentation.
When we exited Gomek’s exhibit, we were on the boardwalk trail through the alligator swap.
It is now time to pull out the quarters and the camera!
The alligators know by the sound of feet near the feed pelt machines that someone might be tossing in food, so they gather in clumps. This was really cool! The water seemed rather shallow, so you got a great look at all the alligators in the water.
And on land!
This is a mean Australian bird whose name I forgot.
The birds of Africa had some cool birds in it…
Including this beautiful macaw. There are 16 species of macaw.
Apparently, you can have your picture taken with the turtles! I have no idea what that is about. I’d contact St. Augustine Alligator Farm for details if you are interested.
The has all 23 species of crocodilians and is the only place you can see every species of alligator, crocodile, caiman, and gharial in one spot. The photos I am sharing are just a small sampling of all that is being offered in this one-acre zoo. They really pack a lot in to this St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. It may have taken me three years to get here, but better late than never! It really is worth the price of admission (and extra quarters). Definitely go if you are in the St Augustine area.
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