EXCLUSIVE: Milliken Farms in Lacombe, Louisiana, is offering a toothy take on the regular fur-filled petting zoos. Dressing their four and five-foot gators as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, owners David and Karen Milliken are sure to make local holiday events extra memorable this year. And while fitting costumes on reptiles with seventy to eighty razor-sharp teeth is risky business, it's all in a day's work for the couple who regularly supply animals to parties and school events. Says Karen, "We let the kids be completely hands on, getting them up close and personal with nature." Not only do the critters make for great photo opps, they also help children (and parents) overcome their fear of reptiles. "I want to make sure that these kids are happy about what's in their backyard, not fearful. Don't kill it just 'cause you see it. Don't kill it because mom and dad said you should be scared." At present, Milliken Farms' ever-expanding stable includes twenty alligators, twenty-five snakes, three raccoons, two red fox, two wolves, three tortoises, three skunks and a bobcat. Other services include wildlife control, private tours of the property and animal wrangling for film and television productions. Billy the Exterminator fans may recognize David as "Danger Dave," a series regular and now a producer on the show, along with his wife. Other credits include Nat Geo's Python Hunters and Quentin Tarantino's hotly anticipated Django Unchained, out Christmas Day.
Picture by: Deano / Splash News