Gunter, Texas, is experiencing growing pains, but you would never know it while touring Crocodile Creek, just a few miles north of Gunter proper. Burlington Northern San Francisco (BSNF) Railway bought over 900 acres north of Gunter and some property within its city limits to build a huge logistics center. 

Gunter is a Texas prairie town whose history springs from an agricultural economy. This hamlet espouses small-town, conservative values. This quality is undeniably evident when driving to Gunter and exactly what you would envision when you enter the town’s commercial district.  

Crocodile Creek, a nonprofit crocodile and alligator refuge, houses crocs and gators for love. Ray and Kristi Caperton founded Crocodile Creek in 2018. Ray has held a lifelong love for animals. The couple looked for something to do for the rest of their lives, and now they educate people from all over the globe about the huge reptiles. Yes, the globe!

Ray and Kristi recently hosted guests from Italy and Germany, and Ray was waiting on some crocs from Canada the day Texas Outside toured their farm. Crocodile Creek also raises chickens, cows, dogs, and goats. They painted crocs on the refuges’ mailbox and out buildings. The croc on their mailbox lets you know you are definitely at the right address. 

(Ray thought the Canadian crocs were stuck in customs)

The Crocodile Creek Tour

The reptiles are surely the stars of Crocodile Creek, and also Elliot, the turtle. Elliot is a grand turtle, and Dalton is the grandest example of gatorhood. Dalton is a 13-foot long alligator, He weighs 900 pounds. Hurricane, the baby croc, is too little to fight and bite (only if you tape her snout shut), and she is lightning-quick with her razor-sharp teeth and range. 

Until Hurricane matures and grows much larger, Hurricane and Elliot make a fine contribution to Crocodile Creek’s petting zoo. Elliot roams around 7 1/2 acres. He covers a bunch of ground daily and eats what a cow eats. We provided two videos featuring Hurricane and Elliot in this article. 

Ray drove my good friend Rick Young and me around on a four-wheeler. We visited Dalton first. Ray walked around inside Dalton’s compound like this monstrous gator was a dairy cow. Not so poor nuisance Dalton is now walking in tall cotton without a care. 

Dalton really and truly did not want to move, as he leisurely basked on his pond’s bank in the end-of-summer warmth. Ray nudged Dalton to move around so we could see more of his massive features. Dalton sure did prove his excellent gator showmanship.

Ray gave us an informative and enlightening education along with a few hours of his time as we explored the property. It was my experience there that we spent a lot of time just watching the alligators interact and sit. Ray took us to a pool of 12 gators. Some were Cajun gators. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries mark wild gators by notching the top of their tail barbs. These sharp barbs on the croc’s and gator’s backs and tails are scientifically called scutes. Scutes become sharp, lethal weapons coupled with the strength of these reptile’s tails when they become adults. 

So Ray knows at least two of his gators came from Louisiana. We heard the gators hiss, saw them snap, and one one-eyed gator even shuffled up to her fence as Ray approached, just like cattle at hay feeding time in the pasture. When these gators and crocs are contained in a compound, they are seriously cute!

Refuges and sanctuaries like Crocodile Creek mean these reptiles do not have to die because someone was selfish enough to hand feed them or repeatedly left their fish guts exposed. At Crocodile Creek, you will spend an excellent few hours, learn a whole bunch, and marvel at the behavior of big ol’ and not so big reptiles. 

How Do Ray and Kristi Get Their Reptiles?

Gators have a natural fear of humans. State wildlife agencies usually euthanize wild animals that have become nuisances or present a danger. A nuisance gator begins looking at small neighborhood animals and land-dwelling wildlife for its dinners. In high-probability, a human has been feeding a nuisance animal. 

This is also the reason many Southern U.S. state fishing regulations prohibit leaving fish remains on beaches or throwing them overboard in the water body. When a gator approaches a human around a water body or follows a boat, there is no doubt that it is has become accustomed to idly obtained meals.

Crocs are not native to the U.S. Ray and Kristi’s refuge takes in crocs from other facilities, like a zoo or refuge that can no longer humanely take care of them. Most of the gators at Crocodile Creek are nuisance gators from Texas and other states.  

Visiting Crocodile Creek Is Awesome!

Crocodile Creek is by scheduled tour only. You can schedule a tour by phone, text, or email. The reason being is that Ray and Kristi want to give their guests individual attention so that their guests get the most out of the experience. It’s amazing! 

Can you believe that Crocodile Creek attracts people to actually travel by long distance flights from far away countries to attend a certain scheduled tour on a date and time in advance? Crocodile Creek surely does. People from faraway places plan trips to Crocodile Creek. Talk about jetlag…

Global visitors to Crocodile Creek in Gunter, Texas, are dependent on flight schedules that can take 11 to 17 hours direct and even more hours with connecting flights to get to see a croc or gator in North Central Texas. That is a mighty big attraction. If you are in Texas, you ain’t that far away!

Plan Your Tour of Crocodile Creek

Crocodile Creek is a 501c3 nonprofit. Your donations are tax deductible. Crocodile Creek appreciates all the people and companies that support their crocs and gators.

Everything You Need to Schedule a Tour at Crocodile Creek is on their website.

Kendall Davis
Author: Kendall Davis

Author: Kendall Davis Company: Lumini Services Kendall currently lives on the shores of Lake Texoma in Texas. She traveled across two-thirds of the U.S. for many years camping at lakes, rivers, and three oceans before motels and hotels if at all possible, and she continuously saw God's presence in nature. Writing for Lakehub allows Kendall to share her experience with God's creations.

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