September 19, 2010
The alligator known as Big Arkie was discovered by a young boy in a flooded pasture near Hope (Hempstead County) in 1952. Once caught by locals, the thirteen-foot-long reptile was kept over night in the citys childrens swimming pool and delivered to the Little Rock Zoo the next day. For eighteen years, Big Arkie was the main attraction at the zoo. Upon his death in 1970, the 346-pound alligator was stuffed and mounted. He remained on display at the zoo before being moved to the lobby of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Today, the reptile is privately owned and is part of the Herpetology Collection of the Museum of Zoology at Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County).