Big News for TWINKIE!

When we announced on Twitter and Facebook TWINKIE had big news our fans were quick to guess exactly what was up. TWINKIE has found LOVE and is PREGNANT... well technically gravid, but we couldn't be more excited for her.

We have always been hesitant to allow TWINKIE to breed in case there were any complications in childbirth, but over the past two years we have noticed a steady change in her personality, food cycle, and activity. We cautiously kept watch of these changes hoping she would be able to overcome them without intervention.

Although few would guess it on TWINKIE's normal diet she is offered a medium sized meal every other week, but during this period she has had little to no appetite. Eating a small meal once every couple months. We also noticed she was frequently going into a shedding cycle, which is uncommon for an animal who is not undergowing a large growth spurt. After 2 years of observing this combination, plus her lack of interest in her surroundings when knew it was time to step in. We tried minor changes in late 2012, but with no success. When February came around we knew what just might make all the difference in the world.

 

LOVE! TWINKIE was looking for love! She has always gotten plenty of attention from her adoring fans here at The Reptile Zoo, but as a mature lady she was ready to form a romantic relationship with someone just like her. Although she reached her sexual maturity many years earlier we had never provided an opportunity to breed. As such a unique specimen our staff was fearful the risks outweighed her natural desire to reproduce. But when we saw the negative impacts this decision caused both emotional and physical we carefully considered the best plan of action and began to find a suitable mate in early February.

After their first introduction we knew this was the right decision, because the two immediately started to breed. Just like humans this does not always guarantee offspring, but appropriately on Valentines Day our experts where able to determine that she is in fact GRAVID! Which means in about 3 months TWINKIE will be the proud mother of 40-70 baby Reticulated Pythons.

Want to meet dad, learn about his family, or even find out what special characteristics the new babies could have? I'm sure you have these questions and more, but we will have to wait to answer these in another blog. We'll be keeping you up to date on how TWINKIE is doing, what comes next, and any other questions you send us both here on The Reptile Zoo Blog and on TWINKIE's official fan page www.Facebook.com/WorldsLargestSnake

Until next time. Love is in the Air!

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Lets See How They Grow! Gator Edition

Since the opening of The Reptile Zoo we have been lucky enough to add 4 American Alligators of various sizes to our collection. The first gators to become part of The Reptile Zoo family were Gomer and Pyle who were each two years old and about 2 feet long. 

Next we welcomed Darthgator a five year old 4 foot male gator. Since coming to The Reptile Zoo Gomer and Pyle have grown to almost the same size as Darthgator when he first arrived. Growth in American Alligators is an indicator that the animals are in the correct habitat and maintaining a healthy diet. Here at The Reptile Zoo our gator friends like to each chicken and lots of it. 

Gomer and Pyle prefer chicken legs while Darthgator has moved on to full chicken breasts. Which is represented in Darthgator's growth to reach at least 6 feet in length with an impressive girth.

A couple months ago our final gator addition came in the smallest package, Davey a petit yearling American Alligator. Davey is still eating goldfish, but is just about large enough to move up to a larger prey soon!

Now that you have seen the before and after photos you'll have to come to The Reptile Zoo and visit these growing giants!

 

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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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Jurassic Fact of the Week: Bane The Black Throat Monitor

What’s got four feet of scales and can walk on a leash?

No, it’s not a Saint Bernard with a skin condition; it’s one of The Reptile Zoo’s newest residents, Bane the Black Throat Monitor!

Bane has been with us for two months after being acquired from loyal customer Anthony, and is not only on display in The Reptile Zoo, but is also quite a party animal in his work with Jurassic Parties. In fact, Bane has already been to a handful of parties in his short career with the company.

When you’re a four foot lizard, a party can make you a star in two ways. Like most large reptiles, if not socialized and familiar with human interaction, Bane could be an aggressive party pooper. Luckily, he is being trained so the more sweet and mild side of his personality shines making him the life of the party.

Like most of us in sunny Los Angeles, this gentleman likes to keep things natural, especially his tough toenails. A favorite behavior of monitors is to “hug” their handlers using them as a tree, and his long toenails have caused a few of his experienced handlers to take a needle and thread to their uniforms after an event. Maybe we can point out that all the celebrities get manicures and convince him to get one?

Bane doesn’t mean any harm, he just loves to hold on to people he likes. He values their love and affection like all other Monitors. Not to mention, sometimes you just need a good hug.

Now about Bane’s “training,” since Bane is a still getting the hang of the party circuit, he requires someone with experience to help him get used to having so many people around. Being a celebrity can be overwhelming after all!

Despite being a monitor, Bane, like all Black Throat Monitors is not a swimmer. In the wild, they prefer to burrow or climb throughout the area that they call home in Tanzania. Despite their small natural habitat, Black Throat Monitors are not considered endangered. This is good news for all of Bane’s distant relations back home!

Bane’s reptile family at The Reptile Zoo includes “big brother” Boss who is only slightly larger than our new scaly pal. Their lengths are literally a big deal since most of the time a Black Throat Monitor will only reach 3-3.5 feet. Still, at four feet, Bane and Boss are small compared to the largest known of their species who was 7 feet long! That’s about 1/3 of Twinkie!

Boss is definitely more experienced than this new kid on the block. He has two years of being the center of attention at parties behind him and has fine-tuned his manners as a result of his wisdom. While the lighter Black Throat Monitor scarfs his snacks down in no time, Boss has mastered a “suave” attitude to match his darker coloring and savors his protein filled food. Can you blame Bane though? He IS a growing young man after all... Well, perhaps more young than growing... Hey, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your food!

Manners or not, Bane is a new favorite at TheReptile Zoo and we look forward to many years of hugs and quick meals with this handsome Monitor.

Come visit Bane soon...and who knows, he might be rockin’ his leash while out for a walk.

 

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Sticky Tongued Pascal at The Reptile Zoo

 

When I opened Pascal's cage for a little cleaning today I knew exactly what was on his mind... FOOD!

 

 

 Pascal is a large and beautiful Meller's Chameleon who was donated to The Reptile Zoo from a great couple who had sucessfully kept him in captivity, which is rather difficult. Meller's are one of the largest species of chameleon and are native to Africa.

 

 

Since Pascal was so set on getting a snack I thought it would be a great opportunity to show his extreme snacking skills in action. Pascal is normally a pretty slow moving guy, but when there is food involved that all changes. First he locks his eyes on the prey, in this case a juicy King Meal Worm. 

 

 

Next he leans in towards the food, slowly opens his mouth....

 

 

... and BAM! Snack attack! Want to see just how lightning fast his sticky tounge can be? Check out this video from today's feeding!

 


Video Link

 

As you can tell from the picture below Pascal is pretty proud of his skills, just check out the smirk on his face! Next time you're in The Reptile Zoo make sure to visit Pascal, maybe he'll even show off for you.

 

 

 

 

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Takes the cake!

Hey Guys!

The coolest things we have been seeing at all of the Jurassic Parties lately besides of course the amazing animals and smiling screaming happy kids, are the cakes!!!!!  I think we should do a cake contest actually, but until then, I want to give you guys a peek at some of the most amazing and creative cakes we have seen coming through here lately!  If you have a picture at home of your awesome Jurassic Party cake please email it to us!  We would love to have your party pics included!

Thanks so much!

Much love

xo...............Savannah

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What Not to Put in Your Mouth!

 

 Hello Kiddies!

 

Sooooooooooooooo, yesterday I posted I picture of me with a tomato frog in my mouth that generated way more controversy than I ever could have imagined because after all it was just a little froggy!  Anyways, long story short, the picture was taken down because we here at the Reptile Zoo do not want to encourage you kiddies out there (or adults) to put things in your mouth that don't belong in your mouth!  I would think that that everyone out there was smart enough to figure that out on their own, but hey, I did it, so what's to stop you from following suit?

The tomato frog that was the victim of this tragedy is still alive and well, hopping through his day unaffected by the event, lest you all be ever concerned with whether or not something happened to him.  I would like to add that I am also fine, the frog did not kill me, did not make me high, I did not hallucinate, and I did not get a severe and life threatening headache from the event.  I simply thought that the frog felt amazingly soft  kinda like a cross between a gummy shark and a Listerine breath strip and I am a big fan of gummy sharks and wanted to see what the tomato frog would feel like on my tongue.

Now, all of that being said, I would like to post some pictures of things are ok to put in your mouth and some things that are not ok to put in your mouth as a guideline for all of you out there that might need it.

 

All apologies necessary…

 

Much love

 

Xo……………….Savannah

 

YES

 

 

NO

 

 

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YES

 

 

NO

 

 

YES

 

 

NO

 

 

YES

 

 

NO

 

 

YES

 

 

NO

 

 

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