American Alligator

Alligator Mississippiensis

Did you know that the American alligator once lived with the dinosaurs? You could find them at San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso from 1883 to 1965 too, before they were relocated to our zoo. Today, the plaza is still known as “La Plaza de los Lagartos,” or Alligator Plaza. A fiberglass sculpture at the plaza by nationally acclaimed local artist Luis Jimenez honors those original alligators.

Fun Facts


Class: Reptilia

Order: Crocodilia

Family: Alligatoridae

Genus: Alligator

Species: A. Mississippiensis


The American alligator is found in the United States from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas. Alligators are usually found in freshwater, slow-moving rivers. They also live in swamps, marshes and lakes.