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Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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10 March 2009

The Alligator Farm


After our hilariously brief visit to the Great Sand Dunes, Pat really wanted to check out the nearby Alligator Farm. This place is well known to Coloradoans, and it's gained a little bit of fame in general just for being an oddity. It's one of only a handful of places in the U.S. where you can receive training on how to properly handle alligators. According to their literature, the place started out many years ago as a fish farm (tilapia, to be exact). The thermal springs in the area provide a naturally warm water temperature year round. Gators were first brought in to consume dead fish. Now why they thought of gators for this task, I cannot tell you. I assume that most fish farms lose a certain amount of fish in their daily operations. How many of them employ alligators to rid themselves of the offal? It would seem that the alligators themselves would produce their own special kind of offal. Awful!


But I digress. Anyway, the place is just a few miles down the road from the national park, so it was easy to find. For some reason it was closed, but that didn't stop us from hanging out for a few minutes to look around and take a few pictures. As we were investigating, a pair of emus (yes, emus -- extremely large Australian flightless birds) came over to investigate us. Thank goodness they were behind a fence! They seemed friendly enough, but they were taller than me! They let me take their picture, which was very sweet of them.


What a strange place this alligator farm is. We didn't see any alligators, but we sure saw a lot of junk. As we were leaving I caught sight of this sign bidding us to drive five and-a-half miles north to check out the "UFO tower". Maybe next time!

6 comments:

Steffe said...

Using alligators like that sounds very odd indeed.

Lisa Wilson said...

I've got to stop there next time I visit the Sand Dunes. Emus bite! Glad they were behind a fence.

Lois said...

Great photo and story! I'm pretty used to alligators around here, but in Colorado? That is odd!

San Diego Farmgirl said...

Some UFO buff friends say that tower is pretty famous, and a great place for seeing UFOs. I believe we're not alone in the universe, but I can't help but think the sightings in your area probably has a lot to do with the military. We always saw weird stuff in Western Kansas, and our local officials always blamed it on the air force bases in CO. LOL!

Charlotte Geary said...

Wrestling alligators?? No way... kickass. I might have to go take a peek at that.

essania said...

You should go back when it is open. It is a fascinating place. The alligators are all "rescued" from various, many times awful situations, like being chained up in garages. People get them when they are little (God only knows why) then they grow up and the owners don't know what to do with them. The building that has the several different tilapia pools also has some of the biggest and most beautiful tropical plants, trees, vines I have ever seen. The warmth and mositure from the warm water pools makes for the perfect tropical environment. There is an "Angel's Trumpet" tree with huge pale orange trumpet shaped flowers that was the most beautiful tree/vine I have ever seen! I highly recommend visiting this place if you are anywhere near it.