Alligator Alley | Blog
Alligator Alley is a swamp sanctuary with an elevated boardwalk where you can get an up close view hundreds of alligators & wildlife in their natural habitat.
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Farm Friends Feature: Hank and Moonpie

Pig Sign 

 

Our name may be Alligator Alley, but our land serves as home to a diverse population of creatures. From bullfrogs to fox squirrels, we’re not your typical alligator farm. For the first time on our blog, we are shining the spotlight on some of our favorite farm friends: Hank and Moonpie! On the surface, the two may seem to be just regular old pigs. However, there’s a lot more to them than you may think!

 

Pigs/Hogs

 

Hank is much older than Moonpie, and he has been on the farm for over 13 years. He was born on New Year’s Day 2004. Originally, Hank came to Alligator Alley with the goal of producing offspring with his wife, Pepper. Sadly, however, Pepper passed away a few years ago, and Hank is now past his breeding years. In his old age, he loves to spend tons of time at the food trough and napping his days away! Retired life suits him very well.

 

Moonpie is one of the newer additions to Alligator Alley. She has only been on the farm for about three years, and became the new girl in town after Pepper passed away. She keeps old Hank company and keeps him feeling young again!

 

Pig/Hog

 

Both weighing in at a trim 500 pounds, the easiest way to tell the two apart is by their coloring. Hank is has a black body with a white belt, while Moonpie is all white. This color difference exists because they are two different types of pigs. Hank is a Hampshire pig, the earliest hogs brought to America. They were first imported around 1825 from Hampshire County in England, and they are known for their proficiency and vigor.

 

Hampshire pig

 

 

Moonpie is a Yorkshire pig, a breed that came to America not too long after the Hampshire in 1830. They originated in Ohio, but can now be found all over the United States. Yorkshires are known for being very productive and performance oriented, yet durable.

 

Yorkshire pig 

 

 

Hank and Moonpie are two of our favorite animals on the farm. Not only are they fun to visit, but they also add a sense of a true, all-around farm feel to Alligator Alley! Besides, what’s a farm without pigs, chickens and alligators?

 

If you want to come meet this month’s featured farm animals for yourself, come visit us today!

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Five reasons you should visit Alligator Alley this summer

A trip to Alligator Alley is the perfect way to break up a boring summer routine. We’ve got lots of wildlife to check out and opportunities for an up-close experience with the alligators. Check out our top five reasons you should visit us this summer.

 

  1. Get out of the house

Summer is a great time to relax in your air-conditioned house, but it’s also prime time to get out into nature and soak up some sun. Alligator Alley has plenty of wildlife to explore and plenty of spots to cool off in the shade. Take a tour of the grounds on our elevated boardwalk, get up close and personal with a baby alligator, and take a turn feeding some alligators yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Embark on an educational adventure

Summer might mean school’s out, but that’s no reason to stop learning! At Alligator Alley, we make wildlife education fun and interactive. Between our guided tours, live feedings and hands-on interactions, you’ll leave with a whole new level of wildlife knowledge. Did you know that an alligator can go through as many as 2,000 teeth or more in its lifetime? It’s true! Visit us this summer to learn more fun facts about our scaly friends!

 

 

  1. Visit Captain Crunch

Captain Crunch is one popular alligator around here, and for a good reason: he holds the world record for bite strength at 2,982 pounds! The Captain measures 13 feet 7 inches long and weighs more than 800 pounds. He’s a bit of a lone wolf and tends to keep to himself; and with a bite like that, we won’t disagree.

 

 

  1. Hold a baby alligator

Get up close and personal with a real alligator by holding one of our babies. These little ones are only a few feet long and they can’t wait for their chance to hang out with the big guys! But for now they’re the perfect size for you to hold. Before you snap a photo with your alligator, be sure to check out its eyelids! Alligators have two sets of eyelids, a normal outer set like humans and a second, clear set that opens from side-to-side and helps them see under water.

 

 

  1. See more than just alligators

Even though we have a large population of alligators here, we also have tons of other animals to see. Check out the turtles, green herons, bullfrogs and golden silk orb weavers hanging out with the alligators. These animals are normal inhabitants of the alligators’ ecosystem and help them feel right at home here. Don’t forget to visit Hank and Moonpie, our two hogs who love to ham it up for the camera, and our fox squirrel, Fatbaby, who loves to entertain spectators. Be sure to stop by Reno’s Reptiles to see and hold all sorts of animals including snakes, lizards, and turtles, his exhibition will be here until August, so don’t miss your chance!

 

 

Check out our summer hours and pricing to start planning your trip! Also, make sure to set up notifications from our Facebook page to catch our live feedings.

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A Day on the Farm

We get asked a lot what it’s like to work with alligators. The truth is, it’s just like a normal 9-5 job – minus the office cubicles and add in colleagues with much sharper teeth. Most days are about the same, but everyday keeps us on our toes. So, we decided to give our readers a little insight into a typical day on the farm.

 

We start each day with our morning rounds. We call in all the “kids” and check to see that everyone got along through the night, make sure there were no fights, no escapes, and no break-ins (our security team is pretty robust, so that’s not usually something we have to worry about).

 

Once we’ve accounted for all of our reptile friends, it’s time for daily maintenance. We drain all the ponds, refill them and everyone gets a bath… Everyday.

 

Then it’s into the walk-in freezer to check out the food stock. A typical inventory includes about a dozen feral pigs that have been turned over by one of our wildlife specialist friends who’s helping control the undomesticated population. The next step is food prep… We’ll leave out the specifics.

 

When meal prep is done, we grab the leaf blower, clear off paths, pick up trash and check off any others tasks to make sure everything’s ready to open up!

 

10:00 a.m. – Doors open!

 

11:00 – First feeding of the day. These guys are HUNGRY. We try to make it a show that’s worth your while.

 

alligator feeding  alligator feeding 2

 

After lunch, it’s time to meet and greet, talk to customers, and welcome tourists and locals alike. We try to answer all questions and make sure everyone is up to speed on what to expect during their visit to the farm. Surprises and alligators aren’t a relaxing combination.

 

1:00 – Second feeding, or as we call it: “crunch time.”

Usually things slow down a bit after the second feeding. If you’re not into crowds, this is the time to make your appearance.

Depending on how busy the first two feedings were, more food might need to be prepped. We usually go through about 200 pounds of pig per day… Told you these guys were hungry.

 

4:00 – Last feeding of the day. Come and get it!

After that, it’s time to start winding down. We make sure everyone has cleared the walking trails, put the baby alligators back in there home with a little fresh water, and start on food prep for the next day. It’s a good time to check off some regular maintenance to-dos and take care of any repairs needed.

 

babyalligator

 

And that’s a day in the life of an alligator farmer. Now, we didn’t mention the field trips and birthday parties, which are always a good time. Some days we’ll make a trip to check on our alligator friends in the area. You may have seen some of them at places like Ralph and Kacoo’s in Mobile. Other days we’re helping with an alligator on the loose. No matter what we have on our agenda, we hope you’ll pick a day to come visit us soon!

 

birthday party

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