World Snake Day: Celebrate and Educate

Here at Reptiland, our mission has always been to educate visitors on the less-loved members of the animal kingdom, namely snakes. We use the term “less-loved” because that’s a nice way of referring to most people’s perception of snakes. Throughout the years, we’ve often heard unfavorable comments made by guests or stories of people avoiding the zoo altogether simply because they dislike and/or fear snakes. The truth is, snakes are amazing creatures that are very much misunderstood. Put aside the myths and misconceptions and get the real story on snakes with this article.

We’ve tried our best over the past 50 years to dispel common myths and misconceptions about these beautiful animals, and we will continue to do so for years to come. That said, we’re proudly celebrating World Snake Day by sharing some of our favorite photos and facts about snakes!

A Few of our Fave Photos…

Did You Know?

  • There are more than 3,000 different species of snakes.
  • Snakes have no eyelids or external ears, and they smell with their tongues!
  • Snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Snakes eat their prey whole and are able to consume prey three times larger than the diameter of their head because their lower jaw can separate from the upper jaw.
  • Some sea snakes can breathe partially through their skin allowing for longer dives underwater.
  • Corn snakes can angle their scales so that they dig into bark, allowing them to climb trees.
  • The paradise tree-snake of Southeast Asia can fly. It swings its body through the air, then flattens into a C-shape to catch the airflow. If it flips its body back and forth, it can change directions as it falls.

Happy World Snake Day!

Want to see more slithery serpents and learn all about them? Come see us! Click here for hours, rates, and show times.

 

Visitors “Dug” Dino Days

Last weekend we hosted Dino Days, an event dedicated to all things prehistoric. It turned out to be a fantastic weekend, despite the uncooperative weather.

Our special guest for this 2-day event was Chris DeLorey, also known as Dr. Dino, Director of Education at the Brevard Zoo. As a paleontologist and dinosaur expert, he’s gone on many digs and has traveled all over the world. He brought fossils and artifacts from his personal collection to share with guests, gave special presentations in our Program Center, and answered all kinds of dino-related questions!

  • Dr. Dino giving his exciting “Dino Hunt” presentation

  • We didn’t let rain put a “damp”er on the weekend–but umbrellas were a must!

  • Dr. Dino sharing his artifacts (and knowledge) with guests

  • Taking a break from the weather

  • Sabian enjoyed making his very own fossil rubbing book

  • …and so did his little sister!

  • The Prehistoric Prize Package that children could enter to win

Kids could create their very own fossil rubbing book, and enter to win our Prehistoric Prize Package filled with dino-themed goodies! They also got to take home real dinosaur bone fragments courtesy of Dr. Dino.

It was a fun, educational weekend, and based on all the positive feedback we received, we’re anxious to outdo ourselves next year with another DINO-mite event!

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.

Opening Day: Dinosaurs and Butterflies

You’ve waited all winter for these warm-weather favorites to return. . . and the day has finally come!

Dinosaurs Come to Life and Butterflies are officially open for the season! Visit us now through November 1 to see these awesome seasonal exhibits featuring dinosaurs and butterflies.

Our dinosaur exhibit has some great new dinos, including the impressive Quetzalcoatlus! Check out our T. rex family, and see the awesome paint job on Dilophosaurus, the subject of our 2015 coloring contest.

In its 7th year, our butterfly greenhouse is sure to impress once again. With countless butterflies to see and interesting facts to learn, it’s no surprise this exhibit is a fan favorite. Also, in honor of it’s grand opening today, we’re offering a great deal in the Natural Selections Gift Shop–it’s a limited-time offer, so visit our SALE page and check it out!

Even though these exhibits have been at Reptiland for 5+ years, each year we bring in different dinos and butterfly species to keep guests coming back again and again– so with that said, we hope to see you soon!

Note: A Reptiland membership is a great way to take advantage of all the fun events and exhibits we host during the year (it also makes a great gift). . .

The Painted Dino

SPOILER ALERT

IF YOU WANT TO WAIT AND SEE THE 2015 PAINTED DINO IN PERSON, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN.

This year, Dilophosaurus, infamous spitter and DCTL favorite, was the subject of our Paint the Dino Coloring Contest, and what a success it was! With over 300 entries received, we had so many great designs it was very difficult narrowing it down to one. We gave honorable mention to five talented artists, but there could be only one winner, and it was Sabian Mertz of Howard, PA.

Paint the Dino Coloring Contest

Sabian visited with his family last weekend, and we’re glad he finally got to see his work of art brought to life. With his new zoo membership, he’ll be able to visit again and again! Sabian also received a prize package from Billings Productions that included some great stuff–like a real shark tooth!

The Mertz Family

And without further ado, the 2015 Painted Dino…

He looks identical to Sabian’s entry, and we think it’s the best Dilo has ever looked (just don’t tell him that–he might spit on you).

So there you have it: another coloring contest in the books and a great looking dino to show for it! Come see Dilophosaurus and the rest of the crew in Dinosaurs Come to Life now through November 1.

Happy Learn About Butterflies Day!

Learn about butterfliesMarch 14th is Learn About Butterflies Day–help us celebrate!

It may seem a bit premature to talk about insects that won’t reappear for another month or two, but our butterfly greenhouse opens in just over a month, so now’s the perfect time to brush up on your butterfly knowledge.

Also, it’s a good excuse to do these fun activities with your kids!

Why You Should Learn About Butterflies

1. They’re fascinating creatures.learn about butterflies

Butterflies are beautiful creatures that come in countless shapes, sizes, and colors. They live on every continent except Antarctica, and they’ve been around for at least 50 million years! They can’t hear (they sense vibrations like snakes), they taste through their feet, and some migrate up to 2,000 miles! Impressive, huh?

2. They help the environment.

Butterflies, like bees and other insects, are great pollinators; they help plants, trees, and shrubs to reproduce. Butterflies play an integral part in the food chain and their individual ecosystems. They also help scientific researchers by serving as indicators for how things affect our environment.

3. The more we know, the more we can help.

Due to factors such as climate change and habitat destruction, over 20 species in the U.S. are endangered or threatened. Though not yet considered a threatened species, Monarch populations have also been declining. The good news is, there are lots of things we can do to help–we just need to know a few things first!

How You Can Learn About Butterflies

1. Good ol’ fashioned BOOKS

We’ve got great resources on butterflies (for all ages) in the Natural Selections Gift Shop!

Learn About Butterflies

2.  Online Resources (Just be careful–not every source is a good one!)

A few good sources:

North American Butterfly Association

Monarchs: Near Threatened

Sponsor a garden at the National Butterfly Center
OR Create your own butterfly garden!

3. Visit Us

Come see these beauties up close from April 25 to November 1, 2015. Learn about different species, their life cycle, and other fun facts. We now offer the chance to feed the butterflies, too! Check out our Butterflies page for more information.

 Learn About Butterflies
Happy Learn About Butterflies Day–hope to see you soon!

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…

shutterstock_30133318_2

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
_______________

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)

 

 

 

 

Give from the Heart: Valentine’s Day Gifts that Give Back

give from the heart - fair trade jewelry

Sick of giving the same old flowers and candy to your special someone? Why not give from the heart with these Valentine’s Day gifts that give back?

give from the heart - fair trade jewelryWe carry countless fair trade items from around the world, but we think the Brass Images line is especially exquisite, making it a great gift for Valentine’s Day (or any occasion…like a Tuesday).

Based in South Africa, Brass Images produces handcrafted brass and copper jewelry. Artisans apply high heat to these metals to produce ruby red copper and antiqued brass finishes without the use of paints or dyes. Gemstone accents add a colorful touch to the beautiful ethnic designs. These pieces have a unique yet polished look that can be dressed up or down and are sure to make a statement this Valentine’s day–because nothing says, “I Love You” like gorgeous jewelry that supports artisans in South Africa!

give from the heart - fair trade jewelry

Not your style? Not to worry. Check out these other fair trade gifts on the Product Spotlight page, or stop in the Natural Selections Gift Shop and browse our wide selection in person!

Note: the beautiful metal leaf sculpture featured in these photos is also for sale!

It’s Not Too Late: Last Minute Gifts from Reptiland

It happens every year: time is running out, and you just need one or two last minute gifts…

We’ve got you covered!

Our Holiday Gift Guide has some great ideas, or enlist the help of our gift shop staff–they’re happy to help you find the perfect gift. From high end items to costume jewelry and the smallest of stocking stuffers, we have it all. We’re also open from 10:00am to 5:00pm through Christmas Eve (closed Christmas day).

Or give the gift of a zoo experience (and buy it over the phone)!

Behind-the-Scenes Tours
Tour our off-display areas, see animals not exhibited in the zoo, and talk one-on-one with our animal experts.

Zoo Membership
membership

Ideal for families and individuals alike, our memberships offer unlimited free admissions for one year as well as discounts and other perks!

…and never underestimate the power of Gift Cards! Let the cardholder decide how to spend their zoo dollars, whether it’s on zoo membership, admissions, of merchandise!

No time to stop in and shop? No worries. Give us a call at 570.538.1869 and complete your order over the phone! We’ll even email a file that can be printed and given to the recipient until your gift arrives, complete with a description of what is included (for BTS tours & membership).

Good luck shopping for your last minute gifts, and best wishes for a happy & healthy holiday season!