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Unique Holiday Gifts Available at Reptile Gardens, Including Amethyst Geodes and Himalayan Salt Lamps



Christmas may be three months away, but Reptile Gardens is stocking up on gifts to get ready for the upcoming holiday season.

Skip past the traffic, high tempers, and prices of the holiday and visit the gift shop at Reptile Gardens to find a variety of items ranging from clothing to New Guinea artifacts. Find something for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list, or simply something creative to give your other animals, art and history lovers.


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New Arrivals added to the collection of exotic inhabitants at Reptile Gardens

Wondering what is new at Reptile Gardens?

The reptile park is delighted to announce the addition of Moon Crabs and Camel Spiders to their collection for visitors to observe and enjoy.


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Reduced Admission begins with the Fall Season at Reptile Gardens

Autumn is a great time of year from locals to visit Reptile Gardens.


As summer comes to an end, Reptile Gardens would like to invite friends and families to take advantage of their reduced fall season rates.


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Here We Go Again! Another Wild Snake Story

Categories: General
These photos have been circulating for several years now. And, as usual, each time they make the rounds of emails the story gets wilder and wilder and more utterly ridiculous. So, let's just hammer this one point by point. Please pass this post on to all your friends who sent you this photo.



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Unique holiday gift shopping at Reptile Gardens

These Himalayan Salt Rocks give a nice soft glow in the dark.


By now, you have survived the Black Friday chaos and maybe even snagged some deals on Cyber Monday — the Monday after Black Friday set aside for online shoppers.

If you still have some gift shopping to do but don't know where to start, try the gift shop at Reptile Gardens where you'll find a wide range of items from t-shirts to New Guinea artifacts.

Everyone knows that person who is impossible to shop for. They are into "unusual" things and you never know what to get them. Reptile Gardens has plenty of unique gifts, especially for animal, art and history lovers.


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Marv Basham



Reptile Gardens just lost its last link to the past, Marv Basham (1917-2011). Until yesterday, Marv was the last person still around who was here on opening day in June of 1937. He had helped build our original buildings and did a lot of other things back in the day when the crew consisted of just a handful of people and everyone did whatever was needed.


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Animal conservation key focus at Reptile Gardens

Animal appreciation starts with education.


Rapid City, S.D. — Education through entertainment is at the center of Reptile Gardens' animal conservation efforts.


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Reptile Gardens' website goes mobile

Rapid City, S.D. — Reptile Gardens wants to reach customers where they're at—their mobile devices.

Over 93 percent of adults in the United States own a cell phone and the demand for mobile access to Internet has skyrocketed. Twenty percent of households are mobile-only, and 11 percent of mobile phone owners make purchases through their phones. By January 2012, 50 percent of all cellular phones will be smartphones.


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Methuselah Memorial established at Reptile Gardens

Methuselah brought joy to many across the world.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 13, 2011—Rapid City, S.D.—Though the shock of Methuselah's death is still present, the team at Reptile Gardens is looking to the future. Plans are underway to establish a memorial for the beloved mascot and hopefully raise enough funds to bring another Galapagos tortoise to the reptile park.

Named after the Biblical figure, Methuselah, who was recorded as the oldest person whose age, 969 years, is mentioned in the Hebrew book of Genesis, the Galapagos Tortoise has been recognized as the oldest creature to have lived in the state of South Dakota.


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75 YEARS AND GOING STRONG! CALLING ALL FORMER & CURRENT REPTILE GARDENS STAFF MEMBERS

Ray Pawley in his younger days.

Next year, 2012, Reptile Gardens will be celebrating its 75th anniversary. You know what that means? We are planning a fun staff reunion to celebrate this momentous anniversary.



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Practical Jokes at Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens' founder Earl Brockelsby (1916-1993) was notorious for his elaborate & sometimes nasty practical jokes. Among them were:


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Reptile Gardens kicks off spring season with national exposure

Categories: General
Terry Phillip, venomous snake expert at Reptile Gardens, provided information about the Egyptian cobra for a late March interview with CNN



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Back When the Sky Dome was New

David, Jada, Clint and the rest of the staff have been really busy in the Sky Dome since we closed for the season. They have done a lot of work on the mezzanine level and even more in the Safari Room, painting, planting new plants, moving cacti, and more.

With all this work going on in the Dome I was reminded of when it was built and of the big tree that is still the centerpiece. This is an article that ran in the Rapid City Journal in 1964.


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Rocks, Fossils, Jewelry, and New Guinea Art!

Categories: General
Next week, we are headed to the world's largest gem and mineral show in Tucson, Arizona to seek out and buy rare and beautiful rocks, fossils, minerals and who knows what else for our 2011 season. We never know what we will find but there are always new and exciting things offered by the several thousand vendors who come to the show from all over the world.


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True Grit Rattlesnakes - How True is it?

Categories: General
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


The other day National Geographic contacted regarding the veracity of the rattlesnake scenes in the new movie, True Grit. Terry's interview is posted on the National Geographic blog.


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New Year, New Web Site!

We have just launched a new, totally revised Reptile Gardens web site. Things change fast in the cyberworld and we do our best to keep up. It took months of work by our staff and the folks at Robert Sharp and Associates to get things exactly like we wanted them and it is finally done. We think this new site with its simpler interface will be easier to negotiate - visitors will be able to quickly find what they are looking for. It will also work nicely on mobile devices.


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Visit Santa This Week At Reptile Gardens

Starting this Saturday the 18th of December Santa will be here every day through Christmas Eve. Bring the kids to meet Santa and take your own photos with him. Reptile Gardens is the only place where you can take your photo not only with Santa but also include Fluffy the Gator or Marilyn the Albino Python in the photo. The most unique Christmas photos ever. And it is FREE too!


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You Guys Have It Easy Out There Now That The Tourists Are Gone

Today's blog combines a column written in 1967 by long-time General Manager Jim Campbell with updates and additions from me.

By the way, we aren't anywhere near closing yet. We're open until the end of the year.



Those of us who work here all year around frequently hear this question come fall: "S'pose you're all set to loaf for the winter? You are closed now, right? All your animals hibernate don't they?"


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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 some of the most exotic 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!