Colorado Gators Reptile Park – Mosca, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Colorado Gators Reptile Park

Mosca, Colorado

The world's only reptile park to offer gator wrestling classes, located in a state with no gators. 


Colorado is known for its gorgeous red rock formations and wide-open spaces, but one small reptile park has made it a destination for leathernecks looking to get into alligator wrestling.

In 1977 Erwin and Lynne Young bought the property to take advantage of geothermal wells in order to raise tilapia. In 1987, they bought 100 baby alligators to eat the dead fish and fillet remnants. After word spread about the out-of-place reptiles, people began dropping by to see the gators and the Youngs began charging admission.  Then, people started dropping off their unwanted snakes, crocodiles and turtles, and suddenly the Colorado Gators Reptile Park was born. Opened to the public in 1990, the park now serves as a sanctuary for unwanted exotic pets and focuses on education regarding the animals and their care. They also offer the only known alligator wrestling classes in the world, although the focus is on subduing the beasts to check for wounds, and not for glory.  

We repeat – they offer gator wrestling classes. 

Know Before You Go

Buckets of gator chow can be purchased to feed the gators.