- 1644 County Rd. 180 [HAR]
HOW ALLIGATORS WORKED THEIR WAY INTO THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ALVIN “The First Bank of Alvin has been home to alligators for nearly half a century. In 1969, a rice farmer donated three 6-inch gator hatchlings to the bank, to live in its goldfish pond, according to an Associated Press story, published in 1983. The trio — J. Paul Gator, Mitzi Gator and William Teller Gator — soon grew to be about 7 feet long, and became a major attraction for locals. The goldfish didn’t last long. By the late ’70s, the gators had become such a celebrated part of the bank that when owner A. Guy Crouch made plans to move to a new $4 million facility, he spent $250,000 to build them a habitat: an open courtyard with an in-ground pool and a couple of waterfalls, right at the glassed-in center of the bank’s five-story building. The Alligatrium, he called it.” [Houston Chronicle] Video: waltpinkston
The 500 or so animals on display at the Bayou Wildlife Zoo on FM 517 east of Alvin are still up for grabs along with the zoo itself, Ralph Bivins notes recently in Realty News Report. Bivins writes that owner Clint Wolston has been shopping the 80-acre property around since deciding to retire last November, but so far hasn’t found a buyer who can pull together financing for a $7 million purchase. Wolston’s goal is to sell the place and its myriad exotic creatures to someone who will keep the gang together, either continuing to run the place as a zoo or turning it into a private ranch with periodic public visit opportunities.
On top of the variety of imported and domestic animals featured in the zoo’s listing photos, the property’s perks include a living space for a couple of humans or so: