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Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo (Hot Springs, AR)

Discussion in 'United States' started by Varanus, 3 Jul 2018.

  1. Varanus

    Varanus Active Member

    16 Jun 2018
    This place is, without a doubt, the worst zoo I’ve personally ever been to. It was about 8-ish years ago, but I’ve recently been curious so I looked at some reviews and photos from recent months and it seems nothing has changed. It was a while ago, so the details are fuzzy, but from what I can remember, the petting zoo is area was pretty average, with sheep, pygmy goats, some deer, and a donkey, all which you could feed. This was probably the only decent area in the facility. There were alligator snapping turtles in a concrete fountain with nothing to prevent you from sticking your hand in the water. If I remember correctly, there were two main alligator exhibits in the center, both with concrete ponds, one with smaller adult alligators and one with large adult alligators. These wouldn’t be too bad if they weren’t as crowded and the ponds were deeper; the water in the ponds was also very dirty and they clearly were not cleaned as often as they should be. There was a building in which small juvenile alligators were housed in a barren concrete pool, and there was a staff member present who would allow you to hold one, and you could also pay to feed them. The building contained two primate cages, one which contained a lone ring-tailed lemur, and the other contained a spot-nosed guenon and some kind of macaque. The building was also a small “museum” of sorts with a few weird things like a mammoth skull that I have a suspicious feeling was not real, and a “Merman”. At the other end of the building there was another concrete pool with some larger juvenile alligators. Back outside, there was a raccoon in a cage that was about 6 feet in diameter and 6 feet in height. Three wolves were kept in a small pen. The worst enclosure in the entire facility was the cougar exhibit. It was a cage about twice the size of my bedroom with a concrete floor and a wooden platform in the middle. This enclosure was shared by 2 cougars. There were also a few waterfowl and gamebird enclosures at the facility, I don’t remember much about them, but I think they may have had concrete flooring as well. Aside from the man in the indoor exhibit building, all the staff were in the entrance/gift shop building, and there was no staff supervision in the entire outside part of the park. Most of the barriers between the animal enclosures and the main path were easily bypassable by any determined idiot with a desire to harass the animals.

    That’s what I remember of the place, anyway. I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t been shut down.

    Has anyone else here been to this sorry excuse for a zoo or know any more information?
    snowleopard likes this.