The Russellville Alligator


We have a delightful walking trail about 12 miles from our house the trail is in the town of Russellville on the outskirts of the city and is a animal & bird refuge.  About 3 years ago an article in the paper said that an alligator had been spotted at the Bona Dea Nature Trail in the swampy area in the back of the park.  There was a photo of the gator in the paper.  Every since then my daughter and I and tons of other people I’m sure have wanted to spot the gator.  Well on Saturday my daughter was home for the weekend and as we often do the two of us ended up taking a walk – she hadn’t been to the trails in sometime as she now lives in Little Rock.  We were half way around the longest trail back in the swamp lands and low and behold the alligator was about 70-100 feet (I am guesstamating — is that a word? I am not good on judging distances) off shore sunning himself and maybe anticipating lunch?  Those turtles are very close!!  We gazed at him for about 10 minutes or longer and my daughter luckily had her camera along and was snapping one photo after another — how I wish I had brought the binnoculars with me!!  But we saw him and that is what counts!!  Alligators normally are not this far north in Arkansas, it is felt by officials that the gator had been someones pet until he grew and then they “dumped” him at the park where maybe they felt he could fend for himself and make due?  he has been out there some time over 4 years now as the corp of engineers who maintain the park knew he was there about a year at least before the general population in the area did.



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6 comments… add one
  • RVJan Apr 7, 2008

    Alligators in AR. They must have escaped from TX or FL. Cool pictures. Jan

  • teeni Apr 7, 2008

    Yikes. I just saw this on your hubby’s blog and just had to read your reaction to it too. All I can say is yikes again. LOL

  • Tracy Prince Jun 29, 2008

    We just moved to the Russellville area (Linker Mountain) and heard about this alligator, did a web search, and found your photos! Then we went out today to try to see this alligator and actually met the man by chance on the trail that submitted the photos to the paper three years ago! He said that he has seen more than one alligator out there. This one (I suppose), he said was maybe 8 feet long; and another that was only about 4 feet. He also heard that someone had killed a small one out there this year. (I’d better never see somebody do that!).
    Anyways, wanted to comment and also tell you that your quilting is beautiful!
    Tracy Prince

  • reece babb 9 years old May 17, 2009

    i am so glad that you got a picture of the alligator i was curious if there was a alligator at bona dea. so so so coool!!!

  • Matthew c goza Apr 13, 2015

    Is russellville arkansas bonadea state park still open after seeing gator

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