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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Good Riddance to the Death of HR 511

Last year may have been a year filled with great experiences and adventures, but something we are happy to leave behind in 2012 is HR 511! Thanks to the reptile community and animal lovers alike for banning together to protect your freedoms, legislation to ban interstate transport of the Indian & Reticulated Pythons, Green & Beni Anacondas and Boas has been defeated.

 

Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) the northern (Python sebae) and southern African rock python, (Python natalensis) and the yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) who as of March 23, 2012 are included in the Lacey Act. This addition does not federally ban ownership, but does place restrictions on interstate transport for any reason including pet owners moving from state to state.

 

 

For more information on the HR 511's time in Congress and Lacey Act requirements, check out our previous blog posts below.

RED ALERT: STOP HR511 Python BAN TODAY!

 

Python Ban: The Adaptability Argument

Python Ban: The Special Interest Argument

Python Ban: The Discussion

Python Ban: The Economic Argument

Python Ban: The "Good Science" Argument

Python Ban: The Precedent Argument

Python Ban: The Pet Argument

Python Ban: The Answers to Living Under the Lacey Act

 

HR511 Weekly Update December 3 : Representative John Fleming, M.D.

HR511 Weekly Update December 10 : Brady Barr Resident Herpetologist at National Geographic Society

HR511 Weekly Update December 18 : Colette Sutherland TSK, Inc.

 

Thank you to those who called their representatives to ensure the truth about HR511 was heard and thank you to those representatives for listening to the facts and ignoring the hype. Here at Prehistoric Pets we wish this unbased attack was never opened but we are SO EXCITED to be able to close the discussion and looming threats with be it not without losses, a victory for reptiles.

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HR511 Weekly Update December 18 : Colette Sutherland TSK, Inc.

Earlier this month we introduced this weekly series with the opening statements from Representative John Fleming, M.D. at the Subcommittee Hearing on HR511: To Prohibit the Importation of Various Species of Constrictor Snakes on November 29,2012. Today's testimony is from Colette Sutherland's moving testimony on HR 511 bill introduced to add species of snakes to Lacey Act. 


Mr. Chair and members of the Subcommittee, I am Colette Sutherland and I along with my husband Dan own TSK, Inc. that was started back in 1989. Thank you for inviting me to present testimony on the H.R. 511, a bill that would add nine species of constrictor snakes to the Lacey Act.



I have been keeping and breeding various types of reptiles for the past 40 years. I have a Bachelors of Science in Zoology with a teaching option in Biology from Brigham Young University in 1985. While at the University I worked in the Herpetology department taking care of the live reptiles that were there at the time. The reptiles there included a Burmese python, common boa, Gila monster and various venomous snakes.

 

In 2000 we were approached by Dr. Mark Seward to make a video on breeding ball pythons. We agreed and the video and accompanying information came out in 2001. In late 2004 I was approached by TFH, a large animal care publishing company, and authored a basic book on ball python care for their “Quick and Easy” series. In late 2008 I was again approached by TFH to write another more comprehensive ball python book for their “Complete Herp Care” series which was published in 2009. In 2011Benson Morrill, a Utah State University graduate, used data that had been collected at our facility for close to10 years to publish his doctoral thesis - Quantitative Genetic Analysis of Reproduction Traits in Ball Pythons. In 2012 this paper was also submitted by Dr. Benson Morrill to the Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics.

With respect to H.R 5ll, I have serious concerns about the approach being taken. Listing a species under the Lacey Act by legislative fiat is not in my opinion the best course for dealing with Federal regulation of an invasive species. The listing process currently employed by the Fish and Wildlife Service while possibly in need of revision to be more expeditious at least is founded upon science-based findings. The process is open to public comment, peer review, and potential modification via the regulatory process. As you are aware the US Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this year listed four species of large constrictor snakes as injurious under the Lacey Act. The Service deferred making a final decision with respect to five non-native constrictor species that the Service at that time did not believe that listing was warranted. I believe that the Service is in the best position to make such findings. I submitted comments at various stages of the Fish and Wildlife Services’ evaluation of large constrictor snakes. Additionally, as a member of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s (PIJAC) Reptile and Amphibian Committee, I worked closely with them in addressing various aspects of the regulatory listing process. Then as now I am opposed to a nationwide ban on any species whose potential negative impact at best is limited to extremely localized areas in south Florida.

According to Fish and Wildlife Service a species is evaluated on a variety of factors before it can be listed as injurious: “Such as the species’ survival capabilities and ability to spread geographically; its impacts on habitats and ecosystems, threatened and endangered species, and human beings and resource-based industries; and resource managers’ ability to control and eradicate the species. Analysis of these factors guides the Service’s listing determination. Scientific data is reviewed for factors that contribute to injuriousness and factors that reduce or remove injuriousness. In addition, other laws require that various economic analyses are conducted to determine the economic impacts of potential rulemakings”. Four of the original 9 large constrictors have already been added to the Lacey Act’s injurious species list. The remaining five, Beni anaconda, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, Green anaconda, Reticulated python and Boa constrictor are what will be discussed here.

Using the above criteria, we will look at the potential impact that the three anaconda species may have upon the Continental United States. Hawaii is left out since it is illegal to ship any snake to Hawaii and we can certainly exclude Alaska, as it is far too cold for any boa or python to survive there unless kept under captive conditions. The Beni and DeSchauensee’s anacondas at this time are not available in the pet trade nor are they currently kept in our country anywhere. Even if these 2 species did exist in the pet trade, there are no suitable climates here in the United States for them to successfully thrive according to the USGS risk assessment, let alone survive. Since there are no existing climates in the United States where they could survive that seems to preclude them from being injurious. What would be the purpose of adding them to the Lacey Act, - they don’t even exist in our country neither could they survive here in the wild.

In response to a recent inquiry regarding the status of these two species, David Barker, a noted herpetologist and author emailed me the following information on November 20:

To my knowledge, there has never been a live specimen of beniensis in the country (and I’ve looked). There very few records or reports of the northern yellow anaconda, E. deschauenseei in captivity in this country or Europe, and I am not aware of any in captivity in the past 30 years. Both species are given no chance of surviving in this country, according to the climate match of Reed and Rodda (2009). The green anaconda on the other hand is in the pet trade, although in very small numbers. It has never had a huge following. The very large size along with its requirement of a more specialized care has limited the number of people that can successfully raise such a species. The green anaconda could potentially live in one area of the United States and that would be south Florida, however Florida has already taken steps to prevent an introduction of this species into the Everglades. As of July 1 2010 a Florida law was passed to deal with reptiles of concern. The green anaconda is on this list and is no longer available for personal use in the state of Florida. Private citizens that owned this snake prior to this date were grandfathered in and allowed to keep their animal until it expired as long as they followed the rules set out by the law. The snake must be micro chipped and the owners are required to follow all reporting and security procedures. Commercial dealers, exhibitors and research institutions can have them, but they must adhere to strict bio-security requirements for housing and transporting the animal. In essence the state of Florida has already effectively mitigated any potential problem posed by the green anaconda. Again looking at one of the criteria used by Fish and Wildlife Service with respect to its ability to spread geographically, green anaconda can only survive in a very small portion of southern Florida where the temperature and amount of water is consistent for their survival. Since Florida has already enacted very stringent regulations regarding the keeping of this species, again what would be the purpose of adding them to the Lacey Act? Quite simply a nationwide ban is not warranted by any scientific measure.

Next is the reticulated python. Unlike the green anaconda, the reticulated pythons are broken down into three subspecies Python reticulatus reticulatus, Python reticulatus jampeanus, and Python reticulatus saputrai. The smallest of these subspecies is Python reticulates jampeanus with adult females attaining lengths between 6 – 8 feet. All of these subspecies have been bred together in captivity in an effort to produce a smaller reticulated python. Another substantial difference between the reticulated python and the green anaconda is the tremendous color variation seen in captive bred individuals, because of the number of beautiful color morphs (name given to colors and patterns that differ from the normal wild pattern and color). Like the green anaconda, the reticulated python could potentially live in south Florida as the USGS risk assessment indicates and because of this, it too is listed as a reptile of concern by the State of Florida and the same bio-security rules apply to it as do the anaconda. Once again the State of Florida has taken care of a potential problem. Since the State of Florida has effectively addressed this issue why is it necessary for the Federal government to step in when the species in question cannot inhabit any other area of the continental United States? Once again a nationwide ban is not warranted.

Finally we come to the Boa constrictor. As with the reticulated python there are subspecies of Boa constrictor that need to be taken into consideration. Depending upon which taxonomic source is used there can be 9 subspecies. There is a tremendous size and color variation among this group of snakes. One subspecies, Boa constrictor occidentalis, the Argentine boa is listed as a CITES Appendix 1 animal and cannot be imported into the United States for commercial purposes and any international trade would be limited to the zoological community. This subspecies is only kept in very limited numbers by a small group of individuals. Out of the remaining 8 subspecies, only 3 are readily available in the pet trade and one of those Boa constrictor imperator is widely kept and bred. According to USGS the only areas of potential habitat for Boa constrictor imperator in the continental United States is once again Florida and possibly southern Texas. In the instance of the Deering Estate population of Boa constrictor, in Miami Dade County, they have existed in this park for the past 40 years and have not expanded out of the park. This is the only established population of any Boa constrictor species in the continental United States and it is a surviving population, not a thriving population. This group has shown that it is not able to successfully spread beyond the borders of the park. Quite simply they do not pose a risk to the rest of the country and could be potentially eradicated from such a small geographical area. Its ability to spread has been limited, so why does this group need to be added to the Lacey Act? Again a nationwide ban is not justified.

Restoration of the Everglades is a noble objective which encompasses myriad complex issues. The word restoration is defined as bringing back to a former position or condition. The historical water drainage that formed the Everglades has been altered considerably. Due to this altering it is doubtful that the Everglades will ever truly be restored to what it once was. While one might argue that the Fish and Wildlife Services earlier listing of Burmese pythons has addressed one aspect of Everglades restoration, none of the five non-listed species being considered for addition to the Lacey Act in H.R. 511 are found in the Everglades - adding them would not add to the restoration of the Everglades. I do think that it is also important to note that many of these snakes have been in the private sector for at least 60 years or longer and I am sure that there have been escapees, and a few that have been released here and there by irresponsible owners. However nowhere else in the continental United States have these animals ever established a population, except in Florida and even at that, it was limited to only 2 species in southern Florida.

Adding the anacondas (DeSchauensee’s and Beni) to the Lacey Act would not impact any breeders or dealers at all, adding the green anaconds would affect a small number of breeders and it would impact zoos and others institutions.

Adding reticulated pythons would be devastating to those that bred them across the United States. These breeders, some have spent decades, working with this species to produce smaller and beautifully colored reticulated pythons. Some of these individuals sell for $ 25,000.00 each. While it is true this does not represent a large number of people, these breeders employ others, pay taxes and work hard to produce very desirable specimens for serious hobbyists. This activity has grown in recent years because of the reduced size of reticulated pythons and the great of amazing patterns and colors that have been produced as our understanding of genetics has improved. Today, there are very few normally colored animals produced. Thousands of people across the United States own and responsibly enjoy their reticulated pythons. With the passage of H.R. 511 these people would no longer be able to take their pet with them if they moved from one state to another. Nor could they participate in breeding programs if interstate movement was involved. I simply do not see the benefit of adding these to the Lacey Act since the species have not, nor have shown a propensity to be an invasive species in Florida, let alone other parts of the United States.

Adding the Boa constrictor would be even more devastating to the reptile industry. Boas are produced by the thousands by commercial and non-commercial breeders throughout the United States. There is a tremendous variety of size and color, even among the normally colored specimens. Boas are one of the most commonly kept large constrictor species in the world. We added boas to our collection back in 2000. Conservatively, we have invested a minimum of $300,000 in acquiring our breeding colony. We have invested thousands in caging, supplies and maintenance of our breeding operations. We employ people to work with us, and sell our progeny throughout the United States as well as export animals to other countries


With just the talk of having boas added to the Lacey Act the value of our collection plummeted. Snakes that I had paid $25,000.00 a pair for as babies I could barely sell for $1,500.00 each as a proven breeding animal. Their progeny which had been selling for approximately $7,500.00 each prior to the proposed listing, plummeted to $1,500.00 each if I could find a buyer at all. Sales stagnated. We had to make a very hard business as well as heartbreaking decision. After trying to market our adult boas to other breeders in states that would have been allowed to export the offspring overseas it became apparent that there were no buyers. We even tried to give them away, no luck. We ended up euthanizing over 60 adult boas. We still maintain some boas, but not nearly what we once had and we were considered a medium sized operation.

In assessing the financial loss we incurred, Dan and I figured out the potential production of viable progeny had we been able to keep those breeding animals in- tact. Without augmenting the breeding stock, we conservatively estimated those 60 breeders over their natural breeding lifespan and normal birth rates could have generated approximately $2,000,000 had the market not collapsed in light of the potential nationwide ban.

I do not support H.R. 511. The Fish and Wildlife Service utilizes well established and accepted guidelines that they developed over the years to help them determine if a species is injurious. Adding species to the Lacey Act through legislative fiat completely negates the roll of the Fish and Wildlife Service in determining if a species is injurious. Circumventing the regulatory process by allowing species to be designated “injurious” without going through a science based risk analyses allows very powerful special interests to be able to convince legislators that certain species are harmful when in reality they are not. This is a dangerous precedent.

In conclusion, I remain mystified as to why the Congress believes its scientific analysis should supersede that of the Federal agency they designated to conduct the requisite risk analysis of species that might warrant listing under the Lacy Act. The State of Florida has addressed the issue; it has implemented a comprehensive regulatory process to protect Florida’s interests. A nationwide ban is not warranted and I urge that H. R. 511 not be supported.

Thank you for providing me an opportunity to submit my comments.

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HR511 Weekly Update December 10 : Brady Barr Resident Herpetologist at National Geographic Society

Last week we introduced this weekly series witht the opening statements from Representative John Fleming, M.D. at the Subcommittee Hearing on HR511: To Prohibit the Importation of Various Species of Constrictor Snakes on November 29,2012. Today's testimony is from Brady Barr, Resident Herpetologist at National Geographic Society Testimony on HR 511 bill introduced to add species of snakes to Lacey Act. 



I was compelled to speak out on this issue on a very personal basis. Over the past few years as I saw more and more erroneous and sensationalized stories in popular media concerning pythons in the southern Everglades, I became frustrated knowing the public was being grossly misinformed. I subsequently reached out to the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) to offer what expertise I might lend to the decision making process and to this hearing today. 

I feel that there are two important points that need to be considered in reference to large exotic snakes in the Southern Everglades: 1. climatic controls, 2. biological controls. The snake species referenced in this hearing are native to tropical regions of the planet, whereas the Southern Everglades is a sub- tropical climate characterized by seasonal temperature fluctuations and more extremes. These tropical snakes do not possess the behavior and physiology to tolerate cold temperatures. Low temperatures (below 15 degrees C.) result in these snakes having problems digesting prey, acquiring prey, avoiding predation, moving, essentially surviving. Furthermore, these snakes lack the innate behavior to seek refugia at the onset of cold weather conditions, resulting in quick death or a compromised immune system in which the snake ultimately succumbs. Climate data reveal that temperatures found in Southern Florida simply are not conducive to the long term survival of large tropical snakes. When it gets cold these snakes die.



Concerning the second point, biological controls; I offer the example of Alligators -- a top predator and keystone species in the Everglades, and one of the largest non-marine predators on the planet. However, populations in the Everglades grow more slowly, are undersized, and take longer to reach sexual maturity, than populations elsewhere. These conditions are likely due in part to a lower food base and poorer quality diet found in the Everglades. The Everglades is tough place to live, especially for large predators. The Everglades in many ways is analogous to a desert, largely because it is a bio mass poor ecosystem. In this respect, alligators have a difficult time finding large prey to consume. I conducted the most comprehensive alligator diet study to date, in Everglades National Park from 1992 - 1997. Flushing the stomachs of over 2000 alligators, and in excess of 600 adults, revealed that snakes are by far the most important prey by mass. Fifty-five percent of consumed prey mass by adult alligators is snakes, that is over half of everything alligators eat in the Everglades is snake. In a prey deficient ecosystem alligators are essentially surviving on snakes in the Everglades. It can logically be inferred that inclusion of a top prey item (snakes) into an already prey deficient system, will result in predation on the introduced exotic species by the alligators of the Everglades, making them not only a keystone species, but also a natural biological control to introduced exotic snakes.

In summary, the climatic controls (low temperatures experienced in Southern Florida) and biological controls, chiefly alligators, among numerous snake predators in the Everglades, will control any population of large exotic snakes in southern Florida, and thereby does not warrant the inclusion of the nine snake species to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act.

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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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TON of Fun on Good Day LA for NARBC

Here comes trouble! Anyone recognize the face in this picture?

 It's Ton Jones star of SPIKE's Auction Hunters and a longtime friend of Prehistoric Pets! This weekend he is joining us in promoting our local North American Reptile Breeders Conference at the Anaheim Convention Center. We started the week with a great segment on Good Day LA and couldn't help but share some photos from behind the scenes.

A natural in front of the cameras Ton patiently showed the sometimes anxious hosts a variety of animals provided by The Reptile Zoo including our newest addition an Australian Black Head Python, Thelma & Louise the Two-Headed Snake and of course some great reptile pets like Bearded Dragons and Crested Geckos.

After the show Prehistoric Pets sales manager Garrett Hartle and Ton couldn't help but take the photo opp with Gomer one of our smaller American Alligators before heading back to The Reptile Zoo to finish packing and prepping for our booth at this weekend's event.

We are excited to see who shows up to visit the Prehistoric Pets booth at NARBC this weekend (we've heard its a reptile loving celebrity hotspot!) To find out more information about how you can attend the show be sure to visit http://www.narbc.com/Anaheim/anaheim.html

North American Reptile Breeders Conference - Anaheim


Sept 15-16, 2012

Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM 
Sun 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

 

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Prehistoric Pets European Tour

This show season the Prehistoric Pets team is doing things right… taking time to travel to FIVE European countries to visit with reptile fans everywhere! Want to find out exactly where and how you can meet up with us? Keep an eye out for our official travel itinerary out next week! 

Right now we can tell you founder and CEO Jay Brewer’s first stop on the 1st and 2nd of September will be at The Reptile Room for an open weekend with barbeque, raffles, and prizes at their Cleveleys shop. Here visitors can mingle with new and old friends who share one thing in common… they love reptiles! Part of every ticket proceeds will be donated to International Herpetological Society and Federation of British Herpetologists so not only will be you having a great time, but you’ll be supporting an even greater cause!

Of course we will be seeing everyone and delivering pre-orders at Terraristika in Hamm, Germany on the 8th of September. The Reptile Room team and Jay will be there to answer all of your questions and even make a deal if you are looking to invest in Prehistoric Pets’ top of the line Reticulated Pythons, Burmese Pythons, Sulfur Monitors, Rock Pythons, and Ball Pythons.

Now for the exciting news!!! We will be travelling to Spain for the first time ever… and even more exciting Jay has been chosen to be a featured speaker at the brand-new Exotic Forum sponsored by ExoTerra! This fresh new show will be held on the 15th of September near Ciudad Real with a great list of exhibitors plus a distinguished panel of other speakers including Mark O’Shea, a photography exhibit, and terrarium decorating contest!

In Jay's lecture he will explain the skills and techniques in python husbandry developed at Prehistoric Pets, including the controversial ideas that have led to its success. Jay will also be sure to share his tips and tricks on “reading” the movements of your python plus a slideshow of some of the leading reticulated morphs available today. Finally the lecture will end with a question and answer session on a variety of reptile related queries.

If you are any good at math you’ll be able to tell there are 2 stops we haven’t given the details for yet… I guess that just means you’ll have to check back soon!

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Expanding Behind the Scenes


Remember when we said we were finally demolishing the “Gauntlet” to make room for a brand new breeding room… that day might not be here quite yet, but we are getting closer. Just look at the expansion we have planned!

 


If you think that’s beginning to look impressive just check out the numbers. In the new breeding wing will be a 1000 sq ft facility housing 147 full size breeding cages plus 3 huge new incubators!


Not only will these new enclosures be the best of the best for our animals, custom designed by Jay Brewer from his over 30 years’ experience in breeding and keeping large pythons. They are also going to be a very exciting one-of-a-kind view experience for all guests to The Reptile Zoo. As they have designed it guests will be able to look into the behind the scenes action and even be a part of the egg hatching experience.

It may look like we are already done, but we have plenty left to do! Just check out all the work it took to get this far!





It takes a dedicated and passionate team and to make these dreams come true, but luckily we have that team! Everyone has been pitching in to help wherever needed, even late into the night.

As you can tell founder Jay Brewer and breeding manager Tim O’Reilly are more than a little excited about the big plans they have in-store for you.

Check back in the next couple months to see our progress and hopefully we will have the breeding room of our dreams completed and on display by the next time you visit The Reptile Zoo!

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New Indian Ornamental Tarantula..Or is it an illusion?

Here at The Reptile Zoo our beautiful Indian Ornamental Tarantula molted yesterday and left visitors wondering if there were actually 2 tarantulas in the exhibit.

Inidian Ornamental Tarantulas live in monsoon forests, where the climate alternates between very wet and very dry. Poecilotheria species should be regarded with caution, beacuse their bites are considered to be much more significant than those of other tarantulas. Their bites are not lethal, but some poeple may be allergic to their bite which can be a big problem.

 

Tarantulas have an exo-skeletal structure which means unlike humans, their bones are on the outside and amazingly, they must molt their exo-skeleton to allow them to grow. This process can happen as little as once per year but may happend more frequently when they are young. Once their molt is complete, it appears that their is 2 tarrantulas in the enclosure, so we have to be careful not to remove the real one, just the molt.

 

These tarantulas are nocturnal, arboreal, and quite ant-social, they like to keep to themsielves and only really come out for food. In the wild they will eat anything, including rodents and insects and even eat things that are the same size as themselves.

 

They are quite slender and in the wild they will stick to the bark of trees and the pattern helps them to blend in.

 

Here are some pictures of the new molt.

 

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The Reptile Zoo and Prehistoric Pets get ready for the fair!

It's that time of year again when workers are busy preparing displays, new ideas are being brainstormed, and the animals are preparing for their busy "show time" ... no it's not Christmas already it's better.... The Orange County Fair!

Every year Prehistoric Pets/The Reptile Zoo have a display at the Orange County Fair and this year is set to be the biggest and most exciting yet!

Weeks, even months go into the planning of such a huge event and we are so excited to be taking part in such an important event for our community. Each year we take as many as 25 of our animals to the fair for visitors to see and we even have an interactive hands on area with some of our team helping you to take a walk on the wild side and handle some of our friendlier species!

 

This year will be our biggest year to date as for the very first time we will have a variety of fossils and minerals for sale at very affordable prices, some of these include; Rosasite from Mexico, Flourite from China, Beryl from Connecticut and Vanadinite from Arizona (to name but a few)!

 

 

We will also be keeping everyone up to date on the daily adventures of the fair with blogs, Facebook and Twitter updates and the story in pictures on Instagram. We are feeling very generous with the buzz for the fair in the air so keep your eye on all of our online profiles as you could be the winner of some great prizes!

 

We will be allowing visitiors to the fair the opportunity to hold one of our big Burmese Pythons and we will be posting their brave snaps on our Facebook page too!

 

But why let us have all the fun? Be sure to "check in" with us on Facebook while you're visiting us at the Fair and Tweet us about your experience! We would also love it if you made an "OC Fair" board on Pinterest so you can "pin" and share your fantastic day out!

For more information check out www.ocfair.com and join our online fun and games on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course this blog!

 

 

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