Traveling Zoo and Charity Too!

Hello dearest readers!

We had a heck of a weekend and I can’t wait to tell you about it! We decided the usual hordes of visitors coming to check out our awesome exhibits weren’t enough, and that we would bring the zoo to them! On Saturday, April 2nd, we brought our traveling zoo to the Summer Camp and Activities Fair presented by The OC Register and OC Family magazine.

Jurassic Parties’ awesome presentations are a yearly feature at many of Orange County’s summer camps, and we wanted to spread the love and let even more people know how awesome reptiles are. Laura helped kids get up close and personal with some ball pythons, and I helped Squash show the public just how gentle our giants can be!

We didn’t stop there though! On Sunday Laura and Savannah got up bright and early and headed north to take part in the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids! Buttercup, our albino Burmese python got a lot of love from the kids that were there, and Spike the bearded dragon wore his participation sticker with pride! Our booth drew tons of visitors and we couldn’t have been happier to see them. The biggest and most important part of the Reptile Zoo is to educate the public on our favorite animals, and we couldn’t be happier that we can reach so many people.

We hope that the next time we travel with the zoo you all can come see us!

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Reptile Super Show 2k16!!!!!!

If you didn’t go to this year’s Reptile Super Show at the Pomona Fairplex, you missed out!!!! This was one of the best ones yet, with so much crazy fun stuff going on! Thousands of people from all over southern California came to see the vast amazing assortment of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, salamanders, spiders, and all sorts of other fascinating exotics that our community so loves! It was also a great success in that the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) raised just over 40,000 dollars!!! That set a new record for the west coast shows. All that money will go towards protecting the animals and to hobbyists who love them.

Prehistoric Pets and The Reptile Zoo set up a booth to showcase some of our awesome animals. Aside from stunning multi-thousand dollar reticulated pythons, we also brought boas, tegus, our Rhinocerous Iguana, Beckham, and a lovely breeding pair of sulcata tortoises. Laura, Frank, Enrico, and Jay all worked their butts off selling retics, while I promoted The Reptile Zoo and even managed to sell an animal or two myself! Whoops!

While there was plenty of fun to be had at the show, the real fun kicked in for us afterwards! Prehistoric Pets has a history of throwing fantastic post-show parties, and this year was no exception. Tons of people showed up to see the zoo after hours and check out the expanded breeding facility!

Highlights of the evening included handling of many large reticulated pythons, an alligator feeding demonstration from Jay, and of course, what is a party without PIZZA?! All in all the weekend was a blast and we were so happy to share it with you all!!

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The Reptile Zoo Reaches Out

Inspiring the next generation of animal lovers has always been a big part of the Reptile Zoo’s mission, and even more so inspiring the next generation of reptile keepers! Jurassic Parties and the Reptile Zoo have run giveaways for class pets in the past, so when Giovanni, president of the Creature Club at Enochs High School reached out to us, we were happy to help.

“The club is based on education; my hopes for this club are for us to be able to expand our collection of animals and go out to reptile shows, middle schools, elementary schools, and have our own events in order to educate people on animals that are often misunderstood such as snakes and lizards. I was wondering if The Reptile Zoo could sponsor us that way we could continue on our goals. Fundraising has changed at my school (Enochs High School) so it is really hard to do our fundraisers now so I was hoping to get sponsors for my club. Reptiles have always truly amazed me and I'm hoping that my club can really help bring a new light to these magnificent creatures. Thanks so much for wanting to help us out!”

The Reptile Zoo was able to donate not only a baby ball python to the club, but a full setup so that it could also live in comfort and style as goes on to live as an educational animal. We wish luck to Giovanni and the rest of the Creature Club, and are happy to support their educational message!!

What Rough Beast This Hour Slouches Toward Fountain Valley To Be Born?

We’re back again with our countdown of creepy crawlers! This week, we’re taking a census of the scariest lizards that roam The Reptile Zoo! Our smallest contender so far makes up for his lack of size with another trick. The Reticulated Gila Monster is a fairly unassuming lizard, but possesses very potent venom. With its midnight black body and yellow warning stripes, the Gila Monster uses its patterned body to ward off potential predators.
While they are shy and retiring, these lizards are the reason you don’t want to overturn any rocks or stick your hand down any holes in the desert! Next up in our line-up is actually a cute lizard, our big Rhino Iguana, Mr. Spot. While he charms visitors with his cartoon- dragon eyes, he has a dark side that can’t be ignored.

He possesses one of the most powerful bites of any of the lizards here at The Reptile Zoo, and backs up that power with all 25lbs of his strong, thickly muscled body. While he’s sweet to those he likes, Mr. Spot earned a place in our countdown due to one of his scariest habits. If he doesn’t like the look of a certain person, he will attack and bite the glass of his enclosure, chasing the visitor from end to end until they are out of eyeshot. He has body slammed his glass so many times he actually started to knock the aluminum track holding his glass out of alignment. Thankfully that has been repaired, but for a while it was a big concern, as the last thing we need is a big, angry lizard chasing people around the zoo. Last of our scariest lizards is our Crocodile Monitor, Salk. He is the epitome of supreme killing machine. If his relative, the Komodo Dragon, was a T. Rex, Salk would be a raptor. Incredibly smart, insanely fast, and highly malicious, Salk has earned the distinction of being the only non-venomous animal at the zoo with not one, but TWO locks on his cage.

Crocodile monitors are not to be taken lightly. They have teeth that stay razor sharp that are the length of a penny, a 7 foot whip tail, and recirculating lungs like a bird so that they don’t have to stop and catch their breath when chasing you. Roll all that nightmare fuel into a lean green biting machine, and you’ve got our top scariest lizard. Join us next week for shells from hell, creepy crawlies, and the top voted scariest zoo animal of them all!!!
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Spooky Scary Slithery Scaley COUNTDOWN

Its officially October, and you know what that means! Halloween is just around the corner! So for the whole month of October, we will be counting down the scariest, spookiest, downright most terrifying animals at the zoo!! We’ll begin the countdown with our scariest snakes!

Each of our scariest snakes are scary in different ways! Be it by name, by venom, by size, or by bite, all of these competitors make visitors (and some of our handlers!) quiver in fear!

First off is our scariest named snake, the Black Blood Python. Conjuring up imagery of witchcraft, dark nights, and spooky bubbling potions, the black blood python isn’t a snake to take lightly either! They are thick bodied and powerful strikers, and while they only grow about six feet long, they can weigh up to 20 pounds!

The thing that strikes fear into the employees hearts though when it comes to the black blood is unusual. These snakes have a habit of retaining their waste for a long period of time, sometimes over 6 months. The resulting explosion when they finally do pass waste is enough to bring any prehistoric employee to their knees.

Our most scary venomous snake is also one of our most beautiful. The Mojave Green rattlesnake is the color of any self-respecting witch’s brew, but also packs the most powerful venomous punch of any of our rattlesnakes.

Its venom is a potent potion containing both neurotoxic and hemotoxic enzymes. The neurotoxins affect breathing and nerve function, while the hemotoxic venom causes severe bleeding. While he’s not our biggest, he’s certainly our baddest!

While we know them as our gentle giants, our big female reticulated pythons certainly scare some of our visitors! We’ve had people come to the zoo that couldn’t stand to look at them, let alone walk past them, due to some intense snake-phobia. Their size certainly does wow!

The power behind their strikes is nothing to ignore, and their teeth are triangle shaped and blade like on the backs, making a bite more like a slash from a scalpel rather than a few punctures. That being said, it takes more than that to scare Jay!

Last but not least, the snake here with the scariest teeth! While the rattlesnakes have their hollow fangs, most people at least know to steer clear! The emerald tree boa however is sneaky. While relatively unassuming, this snake packs the biggest teeth of any non-venomous snake.

Designed to snatch birds out of midair, their front fangs are generally around an inch long and capable of delivering some serious damage! Steer clear of this scaly green spook and you should be just fine.

Join us next week as we count down the scariest lizards here at the zoo!!!

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Meet Karissa!

If you’ve had the pleasure of having Karissa present at one of your Jurassic Parties, then you’ll know what an absolute sweetheart she is. Her patience and smiles make her excellent with kids of all ages, but underneath that sweet tiny exterior is a core of iron. This girl can haul a 60lb tortoise with the best of our presenters, despite being a head shorter than all of them.

Karissa is currently studying Biology at UC Irvine, and eventually wants a career working with animals. She applied to work at the zoo about a year ago and was THRILLED to receive an interview, and then a job offer. Before she worked for us at Jurassic Parties, Karissa volunteered with all sorts of animals; reptiles and mammals alike. She’s worked local reptile events for kids, and donated her time and energy to animal shelters. Her passion for animals and outreach make her such a fantastic employee.

Reaching out to the chameleons.

Karissa one day hopes to work in the conservation field with endangered animals in Africa. She holds a special place in her heart for big cats, which she hopes to one day work with at a zoo or rescue organization. When not presenting at Jurassic Parties, Karissa is working towards her bachelor’s degree in biology. Her favorite food is pizza, her star sign is Aquarius (just like Forest!), and her favorite animals at the Reptile Zoo are the Dumeril’s boas. The funniest thing that happened to her so far at work was when she was talking to a visitor, one of our chameleons went to the bathroom right above her. She finished answering the question she was asked, and then in true polite and sweet Karissa fashion, excused herself to freshen up.

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Meet Michael!

Meet Michael!

Those of you who follow our blog and come to the zoo know that, around here, we love our gentle giants. Not all of them are snakes and lizards though! We wanted to formally (and belatedly) introduce you to Michael, one of the fabulous people that make up the team here at the Reptile Zoo.

When Michael isn’t traveling all over Southern California bringing joy and reptiles to people everywhere, he can usually be found at our petting station in the zoo, chatting to visitors about all of the exotic animals we have here. His knowledge of reptiles can only be dwarfed by his impressive stature. He is an information sponge, and has been soaking up reptile facts since he was a little boy. The most common question Michael gets is “Where did you learn all this stuff?” and he cheerfully replies “All self-taught!” Michael began in 2013 as a lot of our employees begin, by working for the zoo in our OC Fair exhibit over the summer.

When not working here at the zoo, Michael likes to relax, hang out with friends, and occasionally go out for a spirited round or two of airsoft. His favorite foods are anything new and exotic. Michael aspires to one day be like Steve Irwin, an ambassador to reptiles and people alike. His favorite animal at the zoo is Harvey, the red panther chameleon living above the photo booth. Like Mandy and Lauren, he too is a Scorpio! He kindly took the time to narrate his funniest moment at the zoo:

“ I was replenishing water to the cages around the zoo. Upon opening the olive python cage, one made a break for it. While I was trying to coil it back up into its cage, the other olive python decided my forearm looked like a good spot to bite. It let go two seconds later, but I was strangely calm and proud of receiving my first big snake bite. It’s a badge of honor around here. Soldiers compare war wounds, we compare animal bites. Jay and Lynda were trying to patch me up, but it wasn’t so bad as it looked. I’m honestly a little disappointed that it didn’t leave a better scar… “

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Meet Forest!!!

It’s no surprise that many (read: all) of our employees are carnivores, but nobody here hams it up like Forest. This awesome dude graduated from University of San Francisco with a degree in Biology and minor in Performance Arts and can turn anything you say into a joke. His sense of humor comes in very handy here around the zoo. Aside from being able to laugh at someone telling him to “RUN FOREST RUN” for the millionth time, he kills the crowds at our Jurassic Parties with his lightning quips and funny turns of phrase.

Forest got his foot in the door like so many of our other employees, by working at the Orange County Fair in our traveling zoo exhibit. His incredible energy, passion for reptiles, and drive for work solidified our desire to bring him onto our team as a permanent employee. Forest is a jack of all trades, working both for the front counter helping in sales, delighting kids at their birthday parties with his reptile knowledge, and entertaining visitors at our hands-on area at the zoo. He’s only been an official employee for a few weeks, but he’s always excited and ready to learn something new and help out. While he has been otherwise warmly received, Lauren has perceived him as a threat to her unofficial “best hair” title.

When not working at the zoo, Forest likes to go to Disneyland, play guitar, and especially study acting. His favorite food is super cheap frozen pizza and chubby hubby ice cream, and his star sign is Aquarius. He moved to LA to be a film actor, and his greatest dream is to be nominated for the Oscars and thank the Academy. His favorite animals at the zoo are the green anacondas. His funniest experience here at the zoo was during the filming for KTLA morning news; our giant reticulated python flung itself out of everyone’s arms and hit him square in the forehead. Luckily for him, its mouth was closed!

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The Youth Expo Experience 2013

On April 12th-14th the annual Youth Expo was held at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The Youth Expo is a gathering of educational displays and non-profit organizations centered on a younger crowd. We have gotten to be a part of this wonderful event for about 10 years now and always enjoy participating. 

Our set up has a tortoise pin, cages with various reptiles, and our infamous T-Rex on display. Throughout the day two of our employees have out two different animals for the crowd to interact with, typically being a bearded dragon and a ball python. 

We tried out a new in-car TV technique this year in which we had a TV in the trunk of one of our party cars. It continually played episodes from The Reptile Zoo series and people could come and watch whenever they pleased. Not to mention it looked pretty cool. 

Our unique animals offer a unique experience for all ages. Who wouldn’t love getting up close and personal with these awesome animals?

 

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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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