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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Snake Personality Assessment

This morning I am playing Dr. Freud, snake psychologist and therapist. The reason I have decide to dig into the id, ego, and super-ego of this particular snake is because he hurt my feelings, and one thing I do know is that “hurting things hurt things.” And although I am the queen of mistaken emotional identity, I really thought we bonded! I gave him extra love, I held him all the time, I fed him yummy treats, and he never struck at me or bit me or even moved aggressively. Just like people however a false front can only be maintained for a short amount of time before the real personality surfaces, and surface this one did with a vengeance! I still love him though, so, here is my attempt at digging into his past and trying to heal any old wounds, and releasing his inner child.


Me-What is your age?
Snake-Don’t know, don’t care!

Me-What is your gender?
Snake-Male I think, go away!

Me-When do you feel your best?
Snake-When I’m eating, and when you go away!

Me-You usually slither…
Snake-Quickly away from you!

Me-When people are talking to you…
Snake-I want to bite them!

Me-When relaxing, you sit…
Snake-in a tree duh!

Me-When something really amuses you, you react with...
Snake-a bite!

Me-When you go to a party or social gathering...
Snake-I eat!

Me-You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted...
Snake-I want to bite you!

Me-What is your favorite song?
Snake-“Trust in me…” the snake’s song from the cartoon version of Disney’s 1967 adaptation of Jungle Book. Kaa was a good friend of mine before fame went to his head. After the film he was type-cast as a hypnotic snake that couldn’t get the job done and he had a hard time getting work after that even though he was a Shakespearean actor up until that point and had spend years in the theater. That lisp in the film wasn’t even real, he never had a lisp… all Hollywood magic, ruined his career.

Me-When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are...
Snake-Hungry!

Me-You often dream that you are...
Snake-Biting you!

Me-Well, that’s all the time we have for today, thank you for coming by, see you next week?

Snake-whatever crazy lady, just feed me!

 

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