July 30, 1970
Big Arkie, a thirteen-foot-long alligator caught in 1952 near Hope (Hempstead County), died. He had been the Little Rock Zoo’s main attraction for eighteen years. Weighing 500 pounds, Big Arkie was considered to be the largest alligator in captivity in the Western Hemisphere. After his death, the Big Arkie Memorial Fund paid for him to be stuffed, mounted, and put back on display at the zoo. He was exhibited in the reptile house for several years but was later moved to the lobby of the new Arkansas Game and Fish Commission building. He then became part of the Herpetology Collection of the Museum of Zoology at Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County).