Crested gecko | Spring Babies: New additions to the zoo

Zoo Babies: New Additions to Celebrate the Start of Spring

Happy first day of spring!

Spring marks a time of new beginnings, and there’s no better beginning than welcoming a baby animal into the world! So to celebrate this season of new beginnings (and all the spring babies to come), we’re sharing all of the zoo babies we’ve welcomed over the past year!

Henkel’s leaf-tailed geckos

Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Reptiland is part of a Species Survival Plan for many vulnerable and endangered animals. One of these, Henkel’s leaf-tailed geckos, are found on the island of Madagascar. Due to loss of habitat and collection for the pet trade, these geckos are listed as Appendix II by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which means they need to be protected or they could end up on the endangered list. We’re excited to announce that we recently hatched 13 of these beautiful geckos!

Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko | Zoo Babies: New Additions to Celebrate the Start of Spring

Amazon milk frogs

Our Amazon milk frogs sure kept us busy. We had more than 200 tadpoles hatch over the past year! In the wild, eggs are laid in areas like tree hollows. The male will call a female over to lay her eggs which he will then fertilize. Once the tadpoles hatch, they need a food source, so the male will continue to call females over to the tree hollow to lay eggs. He won’t fertilize these clutches and instead will let his tadpoles eat them.

Amazon milk frogs | Zoo Babies: New Additions to Celebrate the Start of Spring

Poison dart frogs

We have many species of poison dart frogs on display at the zoo – the one pictured below is the phantasmal dart frog. Even though they’re less than an inch long, they’re by far the loudest of our poison dart frogs! The males call to the females and lead them to a bromeliad plant. The males will guard the fertilized eggs until they’re tadpoles. He will allow them to wiggle their way onto his back and will carry them to the water below. Much like the Amazon milk frogs, we had LOTS of new poison dart frogs this year!

Poison dart frogs | Zoo Babies: New Additions to Celebrate the Start of Spring

Day geckos

Many species of colorful day geckos live throughout Madagascar. They’re very opportunistic and eat a variety of insects, fruit, nectar, and smaller lizards. We house five species for our traveling exhibit Geckos: Tails to Toepads. Four of them are called jeweled day geckos for their small size and dazzling colors – peacock, lined, gold dust, and neon. The other species is MUCH bigger and is accurately named the giant day gecko.

Day geckos | Zoo Babies: New Additions to Celebrate the Start of Spring

Crested geckos

Crested geckos have become one of the most popular reptile pets over the last two decades. Incredibly, this species was thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered on their native island of New Caledonia in 1994 after a tropical storm! They’re named “crested geckos” due to hair-like structures that form a crest around their head and down their back. They also have them above their eyes which makes it look like they have eyelashes. Like most geckos, they cannot blink and must clean the transparent scale covering their eye with their tongue. We think they’re pretty cute all the time, but no one can deny how cute this tiny gecko is!

Crested gecko | Zoo Babies: New Additions to Celebrate the Start of Spring

Pueblan milk snakes

We had three clutches resulting in 16 baby Pueblan milk snakes this year! Right from the start, they have bright red bands which tell potential predators that they’re dangerous and to leave them alone. Here’s the fun part – milk snakes are completely harmless! They mimic the very deadly coral snake as a defense.

Pueblan milk snakes | Zoo Babies: New Additions to Celebrate the Start of Spring

So there you have it: all of the beautiful new additions to the zoo over the past year! Want to see more baby reptiles and amphibians? Check out our Behind-the-Scenes tours for access to Reptiland’s nursery!

Support Frog Conservation with a Night at the Zoo!

Support Frog Conservation With a Night at the Zoo!

You may have heard ads on the radio or received an email about Wine and Design: Paint for Conservation, but here’s a little more insight into why we’re having this event.

Last year we hosted Cheers to 50 Years, an event celebrating our 50th anniversary. Attendees raised a glass to our milestone with wine and beer samples from 8 local producers. The Genetti generously sponsored the event and provided fantastic food for all 300 guests. The zoo was lit by torches and lanterns, live music filled the air, and zoo keepers strolled around with animals. We even fed our gators and komodo dragons for everyone! It was the first time we threw an event like that, and we received such positive feedback afterwards, we knew we had to do it again (in some capacity).

Without a big anniversary to celebrate, we weren’t sure what to do. Sure, we could throw a big party and invite everyone, but we wanted it to be something more than that; we wanted it to have a purpose. Knowing how popular Wine and Design has become, we wanted to incorporate that with a night at the zoo, but in a way that made sense. Then through a few team brainstorming sessions, we had an “AHA!” moment. We could invite Wine and Design Williamsport to come and teach guests how to paint a tropical scene with exotic frogs, then donate a portion of ticket sales to amphibian conservation! Thus, Wine and Design: Paint for Conservation was born.

Few people realize, but the global amphibian crisis is serious: nearly 1/3 of the world’s amphibian species are known to be threatened or extinct, as many as 159 species may already be extinct, and at least 42% of all amphibian species are declining in population. For these reasons (and other alarming facts not listed), we are donating funds to the Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group (ATAG) to support amphibian conservation. Every little bit helps, and we’re anxious to contribute to this cause, above and beyond our existing conservation efforts.

Support Frog Conservation with a Night at the Zoo!

That’s the backstory. Now for a bit more on the event itself…

As excited as we are to have partnered with Wine and Design, the truth is, you don’t need to paint to enjoy the event (or help frogs). We realize that not everyone is the painting kind, so we’re selling non-painting tickets at a lesser rate for those that just want to enjoy a great night out at the zoo!

The Genetti is providing refreshments and selling wine. Blue River Spell will be playing a little bit of everything (they take requests, too!). We’ll have all the zoo exhibits open*, animal encounters and feedings throughout the evening, and zoo grounds lit up with torches–a perfect summer night!

Another special part of the event comes from one of our very own volunteers, Austin Orelli. Austin helps out at the zoo every Wednesday, and he’s a great worker. Lucky for us, he’s also the talented artist behind The Wildlife of Autism! He will be here selling his animal-inspired artwork and will donate a portion of the proceeds to the ATAG as well. We’re so grateful for his involvement, and we know everyone will enjoy his art!

We invite EVERYONE to come support frog conservation with a night at the zoo! Tickets are on sale now- click here for more information or call 570.538.1869.

Note: Even if you can’t make it to the event, we’d appreciate if you’d share this with your friends and family–the more attendees, the more funds (and awareness) raised for amphibians!

*Our butterfly greenhouse will be open from 7:00-8:00 pm during the event.

Spring Forward: Exhibits, Events, and Warmer Temps!

While it may feel like winter will never end, this weekend we “spring forward” by moving the clocks ahead an hour; if nothing else, at least it’s a step in the right direction!

Aside from the longer days, sunshine, and greenery to look forward to, we’re especially excited for spring because it means the return of our seasonal exhibits, plenty of kids visiting for field trips, and the anticipation of awesome events to come!

Dinosaurs Come to Life and Butterflies | April 25 – November 1

Our hugely popular dinosaur exhibit is back…and bigger than ever. Dinosaurs Come to Life features 6 static models and 7 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, the most we’ve ever had! With a whole T. rex family, the impressive Quetzalcoatlus (NEW!), and Dilophosaurus‘s new paint job, we can’t wait for you to see them all this spring!

Peaceful music, lush landscaping, and hundreds of flitting beauties–our butterfly greenhouse is like a springtime oasis. We also offer the opportunity to feed the butterflies. Since different species can be seen throughout the duration of the exhibit, be sure to stop in a few times to see them all!
Note: Memberships are great for visiting again and again!

New In the Gift Shop

In preparation for the slew of kids who will be coming through our doors soon, we stocked up on new items for the Natural Selections Gift Shop. Come check them out!spring forward

Event Sneak Peek

They’re still in the works, but we’re so anxious to share our events that we decided to give you a sneak peek!*

Ghost of the Bayou | May 22 – September 7

White alligators are extremely rare. From the Louisiana Bayou, these creatures are thought to be mystical, bringing good fortune to those who set eyes on them. We can’t say for sure if that’s true, but we invite you to visit this summer and find out for yourself…

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Dino Days | June 27 & 28

Join us for an entire weekend dedicated to dinosaurs. Paleontologist and dinosaur enthusiast “Dr. Dino” (AKA Chris DeLorey of the Brevard Zoo, FL) will be here to show off his extensive fossil collection and take guests on a special dino hunt! Fun activities, prehistoric artifacts, and animatronic dinosaurs–mark your calendars for this DINO-mite event!

Wine & Design: Paint for Conservation | July 11

On its own, Wine & Design is a great way to spend time with family & friends, paint a beautiful picture, and relax with a glass of wine (or two). This summer, we’re excited to pair the Wine & Design experience with a great cause: frog conservation.

Frogs are disappearing at an alarming rate, and this event will raise awareness and funds for the global amphibian crisis. Guests can paint a picture showcasing these beautiful creatures, then walk through our Exhibit Gallery to admire them in person. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the AZA Amphibian Conservation Grant Fund, which supports amphibian-related conservation as well as scientific and educational initiatives.

Much of this event is still being planned, but we hope you’ll consider attending to help support this worthy cause (and enjoy a beautiful evening at the zoo)! We will post more information as soon as possible, but tickets should be on sale by late May.

*Event details subject to change
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Check back for more details and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for other important zoo updates.

In the mean time, until Spring actually arrives, keep warm!
(Our Winter Warm-Ups are perfect for getting out of the cold…hint, hint)

 

 

 

 

Frogs Alive

Have a Hoppy Holiday with Frogs Alive

Take a break from your holiday shopping and check out Frogs Alive!

hoppy holiday- frogs aliveThis limited-time exhibit is at the Lycoming Mall through the end of the year. Conveniently located next to Old Navy, it provides a great escape for anyone who needs a time-out from all that shopping–especially the kiddos!

It’s been seen by over 5 million people in big cities across North America, and now people in Central PA have the opportunity to experience it! With over 100 LIVE frogs, interactive exhibits, and educational graphics, Frogs Alive! is a must-see exhibition.

We recently had a group of young students visit, and they had a blast! They enjoyed seeing exotic frogs from around the world and playing with the interactive components of the exhibit. They even got to do a fun frog craft!*

So whether you need a hiatus from holiday shopping or you’re just looking for something fun to do, visit Frogs Alive!, open through December 31, 2014. Call 570.538.1869 for hours.

Have a very hoppy holiday season!

*Craft is provided by the Lycoming Mall and is only offered to education-based groups scheduled in advance. If interested in bringing a group to the exhibit, please call  the number listed above for pricing and availability.