Say you work at a FedEx package processing facility, and notice that there’s a wild alligator running around. What do you do? You could try calling local animal control, but they mostly work with stray dogs, crabby raccoons, and such, and aren’t particularly accustomed to the nuances of alligator wrestling. So, who does Animal Control call? Animal Adventures!
The staff at Animal Adventures deal with alligators all the time. They even bring them to children’s birthday parties and schools. They have a little research/rehabilitation/holding facility in Bolton where you can go and see alligators, crocodiles, monitors (pictured above), enormous snakes, countless turtles, a monkey-like creature, a kinkajou, a chinchilla, exotic birds, foxes, a lynx—all kinds of creatures that people learned a bit too late make lousy pets.
One of the most amazing sounds I’ve ever heard is the subsonic rumbling of twenty agitated alligators, who were perhaps giving a passing 18-wheeler a shout-out (whether mating call or territorial glare, I’m not certain). Animal Adventures has no shortage of alligators. First, there’s the primary alligator area, where a big group of them hang out. (It’s good for them to cluster in bigger groups, to maintain their natural social order.) Then, there are some baby alligators mixed in with the snapping turtles. They need to get a bit bigger before hanging with the big boys, or they could find themselves alligator snacks. And then, there are various random cages tucked in odd locations, which have yet more little alligators in them. I had no idea so many people were under the misimpression that alligators made good pets.
The tour is really informative. Like, they tell you how to tell an alligator from a crocodile. (If it’s running away from you, terrified, it’s an alligator. If it’s running towards you, hungrily, it’s a crocodile.)
I recently brought them a few extra Indian Runner Duck drakes. Like alligators, organizational boards, and jazz trios, a flock of ducks needs the right membership composition. If you have too many drakes, the hens get ... er... a bit besieged. I’m glad that there was some room at Animal Adventures for my drakes, and hope they make a good addition. The barnyard area has various goats, a pig, other ducks, chickens, etc. Which are pretty boring, compared to what else is going on in there.
There’s always a steady stream of animals coming in. Last year alone, they received over 830 donated turtles. Some find new homes in zoos, etc. Others stay. Ed, the owner, and his staff are all amazingly knowledgeable and friendly. He’s a really engaging speaker, and seems to be adept at hiring like-minded staff.
Roaming between the various types of exotic animal facilities there are some chickens, dogs, and I think a few feral children holding little chameleons and such, all creating an incredible menagerie. One of the dogs actually helped train the foxes to behave. The children do the same with many of the other creatures, making them tame, if nothing else, by comparison.
Animal Adventures is at 336 Sugar Road in Bolton, just past the Harvard border. Admission is $12. It’s small and a little smelly, and they are actively fundraising for a bigger facility, which the whole world really needs them to have. Particularly FedEx. But it’s really an amazing place. Or hire them to come to you. We’re scheduled them for Forrest’s next birthday party. I can’t wait! They have summer camp programs too.
Animal Adventures has a great website, with some educational and entertaining videos. I'm partial to the one with Ed and his ginormous alligator snapping turtle.