Van Zandt County wildlife park offers unique look at wild gators up close

A different kind of wildlife park is now open in Van Zandt County, one that features animals that are native to east Texas, but those we rarely see. 3 weeks ago, East Texas Gators And Wildlife opened their gates at FM 1255 near Grand Saline.

KLTV 7 Bob Hallmark has more on a park that has become home to armored giants that were the previous residents of east Texas lakes.

They lurk in the waters of our lakes and rivers, and this park near Grand Saline is proof.

"I've always been fascinated with alligators they're prehistoric, they survived when the dinosaurs didn't, and disease free which always caught my interest," said Charlie Harris, who owns the park.

Steel reenforced fences protect visitors because these are not farm raised Alligators.

All of the 50 plus gators were captured on east Texas lakes.

"Most of them are nuisance alligators, where people saw an alligator in their pond and called the game warden," said Harris.

The park has all sorts of gators. A clutch of eggs, juvenile gators and the big attraction: a 13 foot, 750 pound monster named Domino.

"More or less they know 2 things, eating and reproducing," said Harris.

The unique aspect of this park is that you get to see animals that you probably wouldn't see in the wild, but they are wild animals and not used to human contact.

Warning signs adorn the 3 acre park, reminding visitors there is a danger.

"Most of the animals here will bite your hand off if you tried to feed them," said Harris.

There are also displays of other wildlife and poisonous snakes native to our area, but the big attraction is the gators - and they let you know when they're not happy.

East Texas Gator and Wildlife is open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.