Explore Jacksonville

Later, Gator: Explore St. Augustine's Alligator Farm

The zoological park debuts a new "Oasis of the Nile" exhibit as it celebrates 125 years.

There are a few new gators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. They hail from the Nile, one male and two females, and they're huge—about 12-feet long.

They're a big part of the new "Oasis of the Nile" exhibit, filled with Egyptian artifacts, a Gaboon viper—one of the largest in the Nile—and different platforms for watching these scaly beasts. 

"These are three very pristine Nile alligators," said sales and marketing manager Molly Ebersold. "They're stunning to look at."

Alligator swimming in exhiti
Sheba is one of three Nile alligators in the Oasis of the Nile exhibit. (Courtesy St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park)

Visitors to the park can watch feeding demonstrations, or fly high above them on a zip line. There's a platform along the line with a bench for those who want to stop and watch a while.  

"Oasis of the Nile" is only one of the many exhibits at the Alligator Farm. In total, there are more than 800 alligators throughout the park.    

"We're the only facility in the world where you can see all 24 species of crocodilians," Ebersold said.  

Most alligators live as long as humans do, typically until the ripe old age of 80. They have very small brains, but are able to be trained. 

Some of them even know their names, she said. 

"Base your visit around the noon or 3 pm feeding," Ebersold advised.

Guests can feed the juvenile alligators themselves, using pellets from vending machines. 

The zoo celebrated 125 years in 2018 with admission specials and Facebook contests. It was started in 1893 with a small exhibition of Florida reptiles. Today, there are toucans, lemurs, snakes and Komodo dragons that also call the zoo home. 

A blue macaw
The zoo is also home to exotic birds. (Courtesy St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park)