Photos by Cheryl Landes
During the tour, the guides stopped at alligator holes and when they spotted other wildlife. This environment is rich with alligators, herons, grackles, turtoes, raccoons, the endangered Everglade snail kite, and purple gallinule. The porpule gallinule is one of the most colorful birds in Florida.
We saw several alligators. They can move fast, so when some surfaced briefly, they’d dive again and resurface a minute or two later a long distance away. Some would dive and we’d never see them again.
The tour lasts about an hour. After we returned to the dock, the guides gave us close-up views of a young alligator and snake and allowed us to pet them.
John Cooper founded Coopertown at the site of an old Seminole village in 1945. The business is still family-owned.
The Coopertown Restaurant specializes in down-home cooking Florida style, featuring frog legs, alligator tail nuggets, and catfish.
Coopertown is 28 miles west of Miami.