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Reptile Gardens Wins TripAdvisor's 2015 Certificate of Excellence Award

Reptile Gardens has officially been awarded the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for the fourth consecutive year. We're extremely happy to have been awarded this certificate for the last four years. Our staff has a tremendous amount of pride in ensuring that our guests have an experience that is truly memorable. Every day we strive create those memorable experiences by welcoming, engaging, entertaining, and educating guests of every age. This award is the result of a culmination of reviews from people around the world, and we are honored and humbled by so many people sharing their wonderful experience. From our family to yours: Thank You.


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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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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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Reptile Gardens offers a Rapid City attraction that parents love as much as kids

Smile and say gator!


Rapid City, S.D. — Family vacations are often focused on children.


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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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Reptile Gardens' spring season begins April 1

Rapid City, S.D. — It has been a busy winter for Reptile Gardens staff members as they prepare for the start of another exciting season.

Reptile Gardens Catt flowerThe world famous reptile zoo will officially open their doors on Saturday, Mar. 31—one day earlier than usual to accommodate for the weekend.


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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.

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Reptile Gardens celebrates the Year of the Dragon

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Chinese Zodiac is a very spiritual and religious commitment for the people who believe in it. The way the stars align for an individual with this belief can help explain a lot about their outlook on life.


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Reptile Gardens Mourns the Loss of Maude Brockelsby


Maude Brockelsby, wife of Reptile Gardens founder Earl Brockelsby, died on 11 December 2011 at the age of 95.


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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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Idea Wild to Accept Donation from Reptile Gardens

Rapid City, S.D. — Every year Reptile Gardens donates to numerous charities and conservation efforts. This summer, with the help of a little Rook named Zorro, the European relative of Crows and Ravens, Reptile Gardens raised over $8,000 to benefit Idea Wild, who will be present at Reptile Gardens to accept their donation on October 4th.


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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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Methuselah — Reptile Gardens' Beloved Mascot for 56 years.

Methuselah in 1970


On Sunday 9 July 2011 we were all saddened by the loss of our old friend and long-time animal resident, Methuselah the giant Galapagos Tortoise.

Methuselah arrived at Reptile Gardens in December of 1954 from the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, South America. He was flown to Miami and then transported by train to Rapid City. Thankfully, the crews of the rail freight company took good care of him, keeping him warm as he traveled from Florida to South Dakota in the dead of winter. He arrived in good health and adapted to life in South Dakota quite well. He joined a growing herd of giant tortoises already at the Reptile Gardens. The herd was made up of both Galapagos tortoises and Aldabra tortoises from the Seychelles Islands off the coast of Madagascar.


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Methuselah received 100 pounds of watermelon from The Perse Girls Junior School as a birthday gift.

RAPID CITY — Reptile Gardens' late giant tortoise Methuselah's last birthday gift was also his most special. The Galapagos tortoise generally received watermelon on his birthdays — but this year, the watermelon traveled all the way from the United Kingdom.


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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!