Be My WILD Valentine!

The day dedicated to love has come again and we’re feeling festive. Our endearment for reptiles is pretty strong so we love when we can emphasize it. I mean what is more romantic than a long stroll through The Reptile Zoo?



There’s a plethora of sweet ideas for a reptile filled Valentine’s Day on our official Pinterest!




Don't have a WILD valentine? We've got you covered with our February special where you save $150 on a pair of bright red cornsnakes. Cornsnakes make fantastic pets and this super sale includes everything you'll need for less than a fancy piece of jewelry! How festive! But better act fast this sale is only here for the month of love then it will be whisked away to make way for an equally green deal in March!



So whether you’re cuddling up to a significant other or a reptile this coming Valentine’s Day we hope it’s a good one!
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Prehistoric Times in 2013

How could it already be a month into 2014?!? The year of the snake just slithered by so fast we barely had a chance to share some of the great experiences that came with it, but we're going to try to make it up to you with an extra long recap blog chocked full of photos & videos. So many we'll be highlighting details from some of our favorite stories over the next couple weeks as well.

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Miracle Babies

Here at The Reptile Zoo we see every reptile birth as a special miracle, but last week there was no doubt how special our newest addition was!

We were more than surprised to find a TWO-HEADED Reticulated Python with huge potential. As you can see in the photo these little guys are conjoined right at the neck with two completely separate heads and a shared body, very similar to our longtime two-headed mascots Thelma & Louise, but unlike Thelma & Louise who are Texas Ratsnakes these retic newbies have the potential to grow over 200lbs! Just imagine that!

 

 

Snakes, just like humans can have twins which share one egg when developing, but in some cases the two can grow together to create conjoined twins. Just like with humans depending on the area and severity of the connection the two can live a long unhindered life. For example Thelma & Louise have been at The Reptile Zoo for over 10 years, which is long for any ratsnake let alone two-headed!

Now that these two have been out and about getting used to their new environment we are anxiously waiting their next steps into maturity and stability which include their first shed and first meal. These markers will help us guage their health and status, but after already trying to nibble on our fingers we don't think limited appetite will be their problem!

Be sure to keep an eye on the blog to keep up with their progress and even be part of naming these amazingly unique animals. We'll also be updating Facebook with quick glimpses at the newbies!

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Introducing GRAIN!

 

In response to the countless pushes in legislation to ban or prohibit ownership of reptiles and other exotics, more based in fear and false accusations, we have joined up with other leaders in the reptile industry to create an educational resource to continue to promote fact based respect and care for these animals.

As our community continues to grow we are overwhelmed by the positive support we have received! Below are just a few of the great examples of GRAIN supporters from around the world sharing their love and knowledge about these amazing animals with their community.

My daughter with our tortoise, Donna. I bought Donna the same month I got pregnant. These two have always been with each other. Donna is 6 yrs old and my daughter is 5. :) -Mindi SueLee

 

You can see the passion in these childrens eyes! They arent born with a fear and hatred of these animals, its given to them by their guardians, and the media!!! Lets show them the truth! EDUCATION TRUMPS SPECULATION!!!!! SHOWING PEOPLE WHAT THESE ANIMALS ARE REALLY ABOUT!!!!! NOT THE BS THAT THE MAJORITY BELIEVE!!!!This is what its about!!! Teaching the next generation about these wonderful animals, and guiding them the RIGHT WAY!!!! -Jake Klotz

 

Here's a pic from when my educational program got the cover of the local paper last year. -John Sheerin

 

 

This was one of my favorite "reptile" discussions of all time! In between shows for the kids, this 80 year old lady came up to me and started asking me questions. She had never seen an alligator, let alone most any other reptile up close. The conversation lasted about 20 minutes, and as her husband repeatedly told her that they had to go home... she didn't want to, and told him to "hush for a minute, We're talking". She walked in scared and confused, thinking that most reptiles were good for nothing, and left in love with a 6 foot alligator. -Loren Morales

 

 

Here is a little girl that wanted to hold Midnight our Black & White Tegu. This was a great show and everyone got involved! -Roaming Reptiles

 

 

Pythons are loved and kept Globally.! Country: Pakistan -Hamza Hussain Simjee

 

 

A group of Police officers we did a show for, for "National Night Out Against Crime" -Beanie Villerman

 

 

Reptiles + Education = Success -Beanie Villerman

 

My Reptiles are my Life. I wanted to share a side of reptiles that most luckily have not experienced. I have had reptiles my entire life, even as a child my parents would take me to the pet store week after week for me to purchase food with my allowance money for my animals. I would catch snakes and frogs when I was young until I was able to save enough money and gain enough knowledge to purchase more advanced animals from the pet stores. I always had the sense of responsibility for caring for my animals since the day I found my first one and I always had the support of my parents to back me up.

When I turned 13 I sadly lost my Father. Being an only child mean I had to step up and work harder at home and harder to support my reptile collection. I did everything I could from mowing lawns to washing cars in my neighborhood. When I 15 I got my workers permit and began working as much as I could while going though highschool. I was working full time by junior year. I lost my mother to a very short battle with cancer, she passed the day I graduated High school. I was forced into adult hood before I even started college. I was also now the only possible means of providing proper care for my reptiles. Losing your loved ones, especially your parents can do serious damage to an individual.

I am a fighter and I knew I had to support myself and my Reptiles, I choose to NEVER GIVE UP and continue to fight harder for what I wanted in life. I have a very strong connection with my reptiles and I was their only way to thrive. Working though college, being on my own, buying a house, and marrying my beautiful wife showed me that giving up in NEVER an option! Not for me, Not for my Dream, and NOT FOR MY REPTILES! My animals keep me moving forward in the worst times of my life. I have kept many species of reptiles and amphibians From my child hood until now. I proud to say am living my dream of breeding Reticulated pythons and supporting a large collection on my own. My reptiles have always been there for me and I have always been here for them. I wanted to share this short story because REPTILES CAN SAVE LIVES  -Shane Castello

 

 

Here is one of our shows that we did for a school here in town. We reached over 700 children and teachers. -Roaming Reptiles

 

If you have a story to share be sure to a become a fan of GRAIN on Facebook! Then share your story and share GRAIN with your friends! We are here to spread education and respect for all types of pets loved who we devote our time, resources, and lives to caring for.

 

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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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Flashback/Flashforward The Reptile Zoo Masquerade

 

With all the plans for this year's event we couldn't help but get a bit nostaglic about our suprise hit in 2011. At the beginning of the day as we were finishing up the last minute details we had no idea what to expect or if anyone was even coming, but come they did and in droves!

 

 

With over 300 costume clad guests you couldn't help but get in a festive mood. The special guests like Frank aka Kipling from Disney Channel's JESSIE, the Forever Wild team with an adorable baby Tiger and brand new exhibits from The Reptile Zoo including the official unveilling of Gator Island and our California Native Rattlesnake collection!

 

 

If that wasn't enough to keep guests entertained we also had LIVE exotic animal demonstrations with veteran TV and Film trainer Jules Sylvester and The Reptile Zoo founder Jay Brewer where guests enjoyed learning about various venomous species and even got a chance to watch a clutch of pythons be born and filmed for the popular YouTube channel www.YouTube.com/PrehistoricPetsTV

 

To satisfy their taste buds GarlicScapes was on hand with plenty of good eats sure to keep the lurking vampires away. Let's just say fun was had by all.

 

 

But enough reminiscing, this year we are going to blow last year out of the water with all the great things we have planned for what we expect to be a MASSIVE crowd! First of all we've doubled our food truck capacity by bringing the ever popular Kogi BBQ and Chunk-n-Chip trucks to delight both your dinner and dessert needs.

Next we've added jungle themed BOUNCE HOUSES from Orange County Jumpers!

 

Oh did we forget to mention benefit recipient Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary will be bringing a BLACK LEOPARD and baby Bobcats!!!

Are you totally jealous now? Can't make it? Don't worry we haven't left you out of all the fun. This week on The Reptile Zoo facebook page we've got some great online auction items for you to take home. Just check out these beautiful animals below.

 

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Hidden Treasures

Today, here at The Reptile Zoo, we found a precious treasure. Hidden and protected beneath a water bowl, we found a Caledonian Giant Gecko egg. These fun creatures are known as Giant Geckos because of their size. They’re the largest species of gecko living today, growing to be approximately 17 inches in length.

 However, they’re eggs are not as such. Caledonian eggs are about the size of a small peanut; they’re white and look a bit wrinkled because of the warm and humid environment. We’re so excited to meet our new friend in approximately 3-5 months.

He or she will crawl and strength out of their shell and enter into their home – The Reptile Zoo. Come check out all of our fun friends! You might get lucky and find a hidden treasure, too!

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30 Second Q & A

Here at the Reptile Zoo we are asked a lot of great questions about our animals so we thought we would answer 3 of the most common questions in under 30 seconds. Ready... set... go!

Many of you know Frank aka Kipling, our FAMOUS Asian Water Monitor. Just like people, Water Monitors like to go swimming. They are great swimmers, in fact, and love to splish-splash in their pool! Their lateral tails make it easier for them to glide through the water and practice some aerobics with their turtle friends. Here one of our big guys even looks a little like the Lockness Monster while he enjoys a quick dip.

When entering our store there is a friendly pond full of turtles. These cute, little guys love the attention from all of you – our valued friends and customers! All of these turtles have been rescued from the outside world and are brought here to a happy and comfy home where they are hand fed delicious worms. So come check out our turtle pond! As you can see, they love hanging around, and on, their friends!

Our baby African Spur Thigh tortoises are adorable as tiny, hungry hippos! Able to fit in the palm of your hand, they love munching on some nice, healthy lettuce. You can also come and see how big out little guys can get, by checking out our over 200lb full-grown adults lounging around our store! And they don't get that big by accident as you can see even this little guys has got food all over his face from his last chow down.

Thats it! How'd we do on timing? Check back soon for another 30 Second Q & A and all other things prehistoric at blog.thereptilezoo.com

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Party Mobiles Are Back in Action!

It's been a long time coming, but we are happy to say our decked out Jurassic Party vehicles are making a comeback in a huge way decked out in our custom designed reptile theme! Complete with The Reptile Zoo's stars like TWINKIE the World's Largest Snake, Frank star of Disney Channel's JESSIE, Darthgator the American Alligator, Rattlesnakes and Thelma & Louise the two-headed snake, plus plenty of photos of the unique hands-on reptile interaction available at every Jurassic Party. 

For now we can only show you the sneak peek of the design comps, but you can see the finished product this weekend at our HUGE booth in the Anaheim Convention Center for the annual National Reptile Breeders Conference (NARBC). After that you will see us buzzing around town to and from The Reptile Zoo visiting schools and private residences all around Southern California providing educational and entertaining Jurassic Parties!

So keep an eye out for our lime green party mobiles, even honk if you see us! Then follow us back to The Reptile Zoo where you can see all your pictured favorites live and in-person, along with over 100 of their reptile friends!

 

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Little Friends of Jack

This past weekend we have been super busy with new and potential new arrivals, from hatching eggs to discovering freshly laid ones.

We were all very excited about the arrival of 9 Arizona Mountain King Snakes early on Saturday morning, and nobody was more excited than long time staffer Craig Tauchman who cares for the native species here in The Reptile Zoo. You can see in the picture below just how much he loves these snakes as he even has a custom made bracelet with the same pattern!

 

The arrival of these snakes gives me the perfect opportunity to talk to you a little bit about Coral Snake patterns vs King Snake patterns. Several non-venomous colubrids have similar red/black/yellow banded patterns to the venomous Coral Snakes. They mimic the Coral Snake’s pattern in an attempt to warn off predators, mimicking other more dangerous species is a common defense mechanism within the reptile world.

A good rhyme to remember to help you to distinguish if it is a venomous Coral snake or a non-venomous Colubrid is;

If red touches black, he’s a friend of Jack, BUT if red touches yellow you’re a dead fellow!

 

Even though this simple rhyme is a great way to help you remember, we recommend that you don’t attempt to pick up any of these snakes in the wild, just in case.

 

 

 

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