The Reptile Zoo Down Under... Water

 

With the expansion of The Reptile Zoo we have had the unique opportunity to add two new semi-aquatic exhibits and plenty of beautiful new animals to our list of exhibits. One of a kind semi-aquatic displays have been integral since Prehistoric Pets' creation, way before The Reptile Zoo was even considered. We started with our 2,000 gallon pond which is most known for it's always hungry residents, red-eared slider turtles. 

This original display has served as a great resource for the community as all of the turtles who call the Prehistoric Pets pond home have been rescued or dropped off to provide a better home. To help care for these animals while also providing an entertaining hands-on experience visitors are given the opportunity, with a small fee, to feed these rambunctious turtles and fish their favorite snack, superworms. Every once in a while these visitors get a little more than they bargained for with a splash of Shamu proportions created by the feeding frenzy, which only adds to the entertainment for everyone.

When we decided to make the plunge and renovate to make way for The Reptile Zoo we knew we wanted to encorporate a splash of fun. This of course came in the form of "Gator Island" the 3,000 gallon all glass enclosure.  It took a couple years for this dream to become a reality, but once it was finally complete we liked it so much we built a smaller version, The Caiman Swimming Hole.

Not only do these new enclosures provide the perfect display environment for our exotic reptiles like Asian Water Monitors, the Motley Crew our Caiman Lizards group, and Darthgator the American Alligator, but also some of their aquatic friends. 

    

Gator Island is home to the largest of our aquatic specimens including Pacu, dark colored carnivorous fish who can reach over 50 lbs and are closely related to pirrahna which is pretty obvious whenever its feeding time!

Even larger than their Pacu neighbors Gator Island is home to both Tiger Shovelnose Catfish and Redtail Catfish who can both reach almost 6 feet in length. Appropriately the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is identified by it's tiger like markings and flattened nose while the Redtail Catfish has a distinctly red tailfin and white stomach.

The prize from most secretive resident of Gator Island has to go to our Common and Alligator Snapping Turtles who only seem to make an appearance when there is food involved. Each currently weighs about 15lbs but have the potential to grow up to 200+ lbs with some records claiming even 400lbs!

In the Caiman Swimming Hole the animals are smaller, but that definetly doesn't describe their personalities which more than compensate. They were practically jumping out of the water to make sure they got in the photo!

We have 2 baby Hypo Alligator Snapping Turtles call The Caiman Swimming Hole home. Just like their older relatives at Gator Island these guys have some huge potential which will make them beautiful to look at with their unique Hypo, missing most black pigment, coloration.

Our fish residents in The Caiman Swiming Hole are both Tiger Oscar Fish, one with normal coloration and the other is bright albino each will grow to be about 18 inches.

Last but not least we are lucky enough to have a Fly River Turtle, also known as a Pig Nose Turtle which describes his unique snout like nose who looks more like a sea turtle with his cute grey flippers which help him glide through the water.

Next time you are at The Reptile Zoo make sure you don't miss all of our underwater friends, who knows they might even swim up to say hello!

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Meet Davey: The newest scaly member of Jurassic Parties

Meet Davey aka Davey Jones, a yearling American Alligator, the newest resident at The Reptile Zoo and soon to be the most exciting scaly member of Jurassic Parties. That's right, starting next week Davey will be available as an addition to your Jurassic Party event! These events are specifically tailored to provide even more educational tidbits than our standard birthday and can be customized to meet the California State Science Content Standards for your age group.

 

With the addition of Davey we will also be covering the topic of restricted pet ownership in California and why it is important for the safety of the environment and owners to follow these rules. Below is an excerpt from the California Code of Regulations, Title 14 which lists these animals.

§671. Importation, Transportation and Possession of Live Restricted Animals.

(a) It shall be unlawful to import, transport, or possess live animals restricted in subsection (c) below except under permit issued by the department...

(b) The commission has determined the below listed animals are not normally domesticated in this state. Mammals listed to prevent the depletion of wild populations and to provide for animal welfare are termed "welfare animals", and are designated by the letter "W". Those species listed because they pose a threat to native wildlife, the agriculture interests of the state or to public health or safety are termed "detrimental animals" and are designated by the letter "D"...

 

(7) Class Reptilia -Reptiles

(A) Order Crocodilia -Crocodiles, Caimans, Alligators and Gavials: All species (D).

 

 

Some of the other highlights from this list are all primates, marsupials, hedgehogs, ferrets, wolves, snapping turtles, vipers, and cobras. You might notice you can find some of these animals like American Alligators and Snapping Turtles at The Reptile Zoo. Wonder why? Through our partnership with Brockett's Film and Fauna, who are permitted to own these animals, The Reptile Zoo and Jurassic Partiesare can display these animals for educational use. We have been preparing for this partnership for a couple years, actually it's one of the main reasons we opened The Reptile Zoo in the first place. The creation of The Reptile Zoo as a donation driven educational zoo separates these permitted species from the retail pet store environment of Prehistoric Pets.

 

But enough about boring laws. Want to hear more about Davey? .... I knew you would. Davey as we mentioned before is an American Alligator with the potential to grow up to six hundred pounds! But for now, he is a slender 2 year old who enjoys swimming with his goldfish friends/food in his specially designed home at The Reptile Zoo. Since arriving at the zoo last week he has been training for his big Jurassic Parties debut, with daily handling sessions both with his handler and trainer. Although most gators at his size can be quite fiesty and flighty Davey is calm, cool, and collected. Have you fallen in love yet? If so be sure to stop by The Reptile Zoo to meet our little buddy or better yet book your Educational Event with Jurassic Parties and he will come to you!

 

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