Latest New – September 22

Golden Aspens and Albino Gators: Fall In The Valley

It's peak leaf-peeping time in the San Luis Valley near Saguache Today. Those golden aspens over Poncha Pass are magnificent! Photo: Saguache Today

It’s peak leaf-peeping time in the San Luis Valley near Saguache Today. Those golden aspens over Poncha Pass are magnificent! Photo: Saguache Today

spacerThis Saturday and Sunday, September 24 & 25 are Sir Chomps O’Lot Free Admission Day at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in Mosca!

Mr. Bo Mangles is one of 5 albino alligators on display at Colorado Gators. There are only about 50 albino alligators in the world. Photo: Colorado Gators Reptile Park.

Mr. Bo Mangles is one of 5 albino alligators on display at Colorado Gators. There are only about 50 albino alligators in the world. Photo: Colorado Gators Reptile Park.

Come and enjoy the autumn colors of the San Luis Valley while you and the family learn about some of the earth’s most ancient creatures: alligators!

Colorado Gators is a family oriented, educational facility that focuses on full use of natural and recycled resources.  Their goal is to maintain an integrated ecosystem while providing educational opportunities and viable farm products.

It all began back in September of 1874 when Erwin and Lynne Young moved from Post, Texas to Alamosa, Colo. with their four children, Mark, Mike, Sherri, and Jay.  Erwin learned of the geothermal water resources available in the Valley and wanted to grow Tilapia, an African perch that requires warm water and is very good to eat.spacergator-header-1240x240

spacerIn 1977 they purchased the 80 acre farm that is now Colorado Gators Reptile Park.  It wasn’t until 1987 that they purchased 100 baby alligators to dispose of dead fish and the remains of filleted fish.

Those baby gators grew quickly in the warm geothermal water (87° F) and the locals wanted to see them, so they opened the facility up to the public in 1990.  Soon they were in the spotlight of many media programs and articles.  Individuals with overgrown alligators and other reptiles such as large pythons, tortoises, iguanas, and more started dropping them off at the park.

They naturally became a sanctuary for unwanted exotic pets and they care for them as best they can.  Park staff display them for the public to understand the dangers in owning these pets and take them to schools for educational programs.

Every visitor to Colorado Gators has the opportunity to meet, pet, hold, and take pictures with a little alligator!  For $2 visitors can buy a bucket of “Gator Chow” to feed the alligators, and occasionally there will be dead fish available to feed to the alligators as well!  

Doug is an African Sulcata tortoise. He is currently only 20 years old and about 65 pounds, but could live up to 150 years and get to to 250 pounds! Photo: Colorado Gators Reptile Park.

Doug is an African Sulcata tortoise. He is currently only 20 years old and about 65 pounds, but could live up to 150 years and get to to 250 pounds! Photo: Colorado Gators Reptile Park.

The park has several large African Sulcata tortoises that wander freely throughout their own sections of the tour.  Feel free to pet these tortoises, but watch your step, there are several low “tortoise fences” too keep each tortoise in his or her section. Don’t trip! 

Two of our most popular exhibits are the albino alligators, including Mr. Bo Mangles, and Morris the Hollywood alligator from “Happy Gilmore.”  Some of the other reptiles you can see at Colorado Gators Reptile Park are:  fearsome Nile crocodiles, Burmese pythons, a 17′ reticulated python, anacondas, red tail boas, 3 species of rattlesnakes, monitor lizards, tegus, geckos, iguanas, box turtles, snapping turtles, and caiman.

Colorado Gator Reptile Park is located at 9162 County Road 9 N, just off Highway 17 which runs smack down the middle of the San Luis Valley. For more info, call 719-2612, click: ColoradoGators.com or email ColoG8rs@gmail.com.

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