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Scales and Tales

Reptile Gardens looks to hire new summer employees

Rapid City, S.D. — If you are looking for a summer job that will really put an exclamation point on your resume, look no further than Reptile Gardens.

>Known for their world class collection of reptiles, bugs and amphibians, Reptile Gardens is also a great place to gain experience and launch your career in zoology or veterinary science.

"If you want a career in the zoo world, Reptile Gardens is a good place to start," said Reptile Gardens' CEO, Joe Maierhauser.

Maierhauser said they have had several past employees go on to land wonderful jobs in related industries. For example, one former employee went on to work with a famous zoologist at the Lincoln Park zoo in Chicago before eventually landing a job as curator of reptiles at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.

Alligator wrestling at Reptile GardensNot all past employees went into zoology careers. One former alligator wrester later went on to become a federal judge.

"You really don't need to be in a certain career field or have a particular major in school to work here," Maierhauser said. "We are looking for friendly, gregarious people."

He jokingly admits that putting the job title "Alligator Wrestler" on your resume will at the very least get you an interview for any job.

The summer season runs from May 27 through Sept. 5. All job openings will be filled long before the summer season starts so turn in your application and resume promptly for a chance to work with the brightest and best animal staff in the Black Hills.

To enquire about available positions call the Reptile Gardens office Mon-Friday at 605-342-5873 or visit the employment page on our website.

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About Us

Sky Dome

Step inside the Sky Dome to experience a warm tropical climate while exploring our indoor jungle filled with exotic and unique flora and fauna. 

Rattlesnake Gulch

Try your hand at gemstone sluicing or go on a 3D safari. Our very own old west ghost town as numerous photo opportunities and activities to keep the kids entertained.

Cheyenne's Habitat

Cheyenne the bald eagle has been a permanent resident of Reptile Gardens for 11 years with permission of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maniac's habitat

Maniac is our resident giant saltwater crocodile. At over 16 feet long and1,350pounds, he is one of the largest giant crocodiles in the western hemisphere. If you don't see him at his enclosure inside the SkyDome, make sure to check outside!

Prairie Dog Town

Get down to eye-level with these fuzzy little animals and see firsthand what life is like in a typical prairie dog town!

Methuselah's Playground

Methuselah was a giant Galapagos Tortoise weighing in at over 600 pounds, and a long time resident of Reptile Gardens. His memory lives on at this playground featuring a bronze statue of Methuselah himself. 

Snake Show stage

Get up-close-and-personal with our snake ambassadors in this family-friendly snake handling show.

Gator Show stage

Dozens of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Caimans and one keeper...what could go wrong? Separate fact from fiction in this educational, family-friendly show and get a chance to pet Fluffy, our baby gator!

Bird Show stage

Interact with birds from around the world at the Bird Show, where they love to show off their beauty and intelligence. 

Gift Shop

Carrying a wide variety of Reptile Gardens souvenirs as well as educational books for every age and a variety of stunning rocks, minerals, and fossils from all over the world.

Green Parrot Cafe

Hungry? Refuel with buffalo burgers, The Maniac burger, Black Mamba Shakes, Indian Tacos, and more!

Giant Tortoise

Don't miss this photo opportunity! Get up-close and personal with these friendly giants who love to have their neck scratched and are great with kids. 

Tortuga Falls

Take a stroll through this meditative garden, gaze into our turtle and koi pond, listen to the waterfalls, and don't miss Darwin the Kookaburra! 

Walking Garden

We're about more than just Reptiles! Our outdoor gardens are beauty to be seen as they change throughout the season and year after year. 

Living Wall

This vertical garden is a wall of color that grows and changes through the Summer season creating striking patterns and unique portraits as it grows. 

Pet A Python

Don't miss your chance to Pet a Python!  Our snake handlers ar here to talk about any questions or myths you've heard about snakes. Don't forget your camera! Our pythons are very photogenic and love to photos with you!