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Scales and Tales

Gator Watch in Akron, Ohio!

Categories: General
If you happen to be at the All-American Soapbox Derby in Akron, Ohio the weekend of July 20 and 21, 2013, you may recognize something very familiar.

Ally Claar, age 11, will be competing with the best of the best soapbox racers in her Reptile Gardens inspired entry, the Ally-Gator. Ally qualified to go to the All-American with her race time in the Pikes Peak Soap Box Derby in June.


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I Just Found a Deadly Coral Snake...Well No, Not in South Dakota You Didn't.

 

Pale Milksnake

One of the most common snakes in South Dakota, west of the Missouri River, is a little-seen snake called the Pale Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum multistriata). These snakes are surprisingly common around here but are very secretive and so, people are often not familiar with them. They love the rains in the spring and fall, which increases the likelihood of encounters with humans.



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Hold My Beer and Watch This!

So, now that we know how to avoid rattlesnakes and what to do if we encounter one. What should we do if we don't follow Terry's advice and leave all snakes alone? What if the odd encounter happens where we unknowingly step on or sit next to a rattlesnake and the unfortunate occurs?


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Why in MY Yard?

Snakes are an integral part of our ecosystem and are, in fact, the number one predator of rodents and other little creatures we consider pests. These pests can be carriers of even nastier pests and diseases. So, in fact, we should be grateful for our legless neighbors.


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Springtime Means Warmth and Flowers and, Yes, Rattlesnakes

It's that time of year again — Spring in Western South Dakota. Our spring brings rain (maybe), sunshine, green grass, the occasional snowstorm, tourists, and of course rattlesnakes.

Pretty soon we will start getting frantic phone calls from local folk with snakes in their yard and from animal control with rattlesnakes in buckets that they got from those same yards. We will hear from people asking how to avoid them when hiking, camping and fishing, from those who want to know how to keep rattlesnakes out of houses, garages and yards, and, of course, what to do if they encounter a snake.


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Enjoy an Exotic Jungle Adventure on Mother's Day at Reptile Gardens

Categories: General
Mother's Day is nearly upon us once again, and many children and parents are considering what to do to honor this special lady in their lives. On May 12, Mother's Day, we will be giving all moms free admission with the donation of two cans of food for the KOTA Care and Share Food Drive.


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Family attractions in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Categories: General
The Black Hills is a mountain range located in the south-western portion of South Dakota. It is the home of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is the largest mountain carving in progress in the world. Visitors to the area will see the fossil beds at Badlands National Park or get a close look at a bald eagle at Reptile Gardens. Custer State Park offers a glimpse into how the pioneers saw the west. Rapid City offers a walking tour of presidents, a wide range of hotels and restaurants, and the largest indoor water park in South Dakota. There is even one of the most diverse reptile zoos in the country.


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Start planning your Black Hills vacation

Categories: General
As the sunshine warms the ground, the days get longer, and the trees begin to bud, it is undeniable that summer is just around the corner. Many are inspired by the warm weather and begin planning ahead for their summer Black Hills vacation.

A time of relaxation and excitement, summer vacations are the one time of year when people of all ages are allowed to enjoy an endless array of activities and escape the worries that come with their everyday routine. With age out of the question, let Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, SD be one of your destinations for this summers Black Hills vacation.


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Reptile Gardens announces final week of the season specials

Categories: General
As the tourism season draws to a close in the Black Hills, Reptile Gardens has announced special admission the week of November 26 through December 2, 2012.


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Reptile Gardens Awarded TripAdvisor's Presigious Award

Categories: General
Reptile Gardens is honored to announce we have been awarded TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence. TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site and provides trusted advice from travelers across the world. We are thrilled to have earned such a phenomenal award as only ten percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor will receive this award on a yearly basis. This tribute honors excellence in hospitality, and that's exactly what we aim to do, by engaging visitors at Reptile Gardens and have them leaving with a memorable, enjoyable, and educational experience. Our passion for what we do is ignited within our visitors, enabling them leave with a better sense of what our world renowned team of specialists and conservationists set out to accomplish every day.


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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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Reptile Gardens Celebrates 75 Anniversary with Employee Reunion

Happy 75th Anniversary Reptile Gardens!


RAPID CITY, SD — Reptile Gardens is thrilled to announce that this year is their 75 year anniversary as one of the Black Hills most popular attractions.


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Methuselah Memorial to be held on July 10, 2012

Reptile Gardens says goodbye to 130 yr old Methuselah.


RAPID CITY, S.D. — The memorial for Methuselah, a beloved mascot of Reptile Gardens in Rapid City South Dakota, will be held on July 10, 2012 from 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. at Reptile Gardens.

Methuselah, a giant Galapagos tortoise who weighed over 500 pounds, passed away July 10, 2011, having just celebrated his 130th birthday on June 12. As a tribute to the much-loved tortoise, a life-cast bronze statue will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. during the memorial.


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Who Let the Crocodiles Out at Reptile Gardens?

Rapid City, S.D. — The unofficial start of the tourist season has begun in the Black Hills! At Reptile Gardens, this is signified by the start of the daily Gator Shows.


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Summer season begins at Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens is ready for a busy summer!


Rapid City, S.D. — Spring is almost over and with the start of summer comes new hours and plenty of new things to look at.

The summer season brings the start of new hours for Reptile Gardens. Beginning on May 25, the park will be open full hours of 8 a.m. — 6 p.m. During this time all three shows will be running, giving visitors the chance to observe alligators and crocodiles, a snake demonstration, and birds from around the world.


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Celebrate Mother's Day with Reptile Gardens in Rapid City

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and we're all about celebrating these wonderful women at Reptile Gardens. On May 13, Mother's Day, we will be giving all moms free admission with the donation of two cans of food for the KOTA Care and Share drive.


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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!