Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Tue August 18 2015

Multiple Alligators Stolen From Arkansas Tourist Attraction

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | August 18, 2015

Multiple Alligators Stolen From Arkansas Tourist Attraction

The Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo, a popular tourist attraction in Hot Springs, is reeling following an overnight break-in that saw two men steal 13 alligators, local news station KTHV reported.

Twelve of the 13 alligators now missing are less than a year old and measure anywhere from eight to 12 inches. The other alligator is seven years old and three feet long. Each missing alligator is valued at $100. 

The incident, which occurred around 2 a.m. local time Saturday, was captured on surveillance video.

"These doors were shut, and they just kicked them in," the farm and petting zoo's manager Jamie Bridges told KTHV. "They both jumped over the fence, the wall, you could see them putting gators in a bag."

"Whoever did this, I feel like had been here before," added Bridges, who pointed out that the men were wearing masks and camouflage. 

Bridges said that visitors often ask if they can purchase the smaller alligators. But on top of being illegal, Bridges said the facility has no interest in selling the reptiles, as its purpose is to provide a refuge for the alligators and other animals.

What's more, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told KTHV that persons found possessing an alligator without a proper permit can be fined as much as $1,000. 

TripAdvisor ranks the Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo among the top things to do in Hot Springs. The attraction has received a majority of above average reviews and is an ideal destination for tourists traveling with children. 

The Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo is currently seeking the public's help in tracking down the perpetrators and the missing alligators. 

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