I hope everyone has been enjoying the odd weather this summer! I firmly believe, though, that SD always has odd/ever-changing weather, so I suppose you could call it normal weather this summer. I shouldn’t complain. It is nice to have variety, sometimes, I guess; unless you are a bird trainer in the bird department here at Reptile Gardens.
Performing a free flight outdoor bird show can be a lot of fun! I thoroughly enjoy seeing the birds do their natural and unique behaviors and see our Guests’ reactions to them! It is quite amazing to get the opportunity to train animals to voluntarily perform outdoors and NOT fly away. However, bird shows are not always sunshine and lollipops. Sometimes it is hurricane-like winds and golf ball sized hail. It can be extremely difficult if (or should I say “when”) the weather does not cooperate.
I hope everyone survived the winter - and I hope winter is done for all of us in general. We are now in our spring season here at Reptile Gardens and we opened our doors on March 4th! If you are interested in seeing our new additions to the lower ring of our Dome and check out the spring bird and snake programs, along with all the other exhibits and the tropical flowers, now is the time to come.
This photo has been floating around the Internet since 2010 and now for the new year 2017, here it is again. So, I will rerun the post I made about it during its 2012 appearance. Some of the "facts" have changed a bit from the last time it showed up as it always the case with pure fabrication.
All of the staff and animals here at Reptile Gardens are just now settling down for, what appears to be, a chilly winter season. Everything is starting to shift gears from our busy fall schedule to an all ready chock full winter list of chores and updates!
In conversation with friends and Guests it occurred to me recently that the average person knows virtually nothing about antivenoms. Not that most people should, it really doesn't impact their lives. However, I have also found most people are quite fascinated when I tell them about this unique medicine.
Have you ever had someone call you a bird brain? Usually that means that they are saying you're not too smart. Yet, sometimes we use an owl as a symbol for being wise. Mixed signals, right? I think this is a pretty good example of exactly how little we know about what birds are thinking.
Unfortunately, birds can't tell us what they are thinking, so we can't be 100% certain about how they feel and what they want. However, that does make working with animals more fun. Gotta love a challenge! Instead of listening to them tell us what they think, we have to learn to pick up on their subtle hints.
When our parrots and owls are on their walks through the park, curious Guests often ask "Do they mate for life?" I always say "Well... sort of." There is rarely enough time to delve into the sordid details of avian love, but with Valentine's Day approaching, I thought I'd give it a try!
This bizarre story has resurfaced on Facebook recently but it has been around for at least 8 years. In keeping with our policy of debunking totally incorrect animal photos and stories we offer you the truth about eagles. The original text of this recurring post is in quotes. Our factual responsesto each partare below them in bold.
As I mentioned in the first part of this post last week, our reward sign exists mostly to make a point that most reptile zoos fail to mention: not how big reptiles really get, but how big they really don't get.
We have a sign on the grounds—which can also be seen on our website—that lists various reptiles and how much we would pay for really large specimens. We've had many thousands of questions over the years about this sign. One of the reasons we've had so many questions about how large reptiles (especially giant snakes) can get is because their size may be the single most misunderstood thing about these already very misunderstood animals.
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.
With the arrival of spring, Reptile Gardens is once again preparing to open their doors for the new season. Opening day will be Saturday, March 14, 2014 at 9AM. It will be their 78th year welcoming visitors from all over the world.
The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler. Fall is definitely in the air at Reptile Gardens. We will be closing for the year 2014 on November 30, so stop by to see us again soon before we close our doors for the winter. Which raises the question: What does happen at Reptile Gardens in the winter?
When photographing flowers, it is easy to be distracted by their overall general natural beauty and hard to overcome the urge to just start snapping frame after frame without much rhyme or reason. While some shots can produce lovely results, try the following tips to hone in on each flowers unique characteristics, and produce some images that pay tribute to a flowers stunning individuality.
As the sun slowly sets on summer, it is easy to think of the long, cold winter ahead. However, there is still plenty of time to take in the lovely season that is autumn for a quick Black Hills fall vacation.
With the arrival of spring, Reptile Gardens is once again preparing to open their doors for the new season. Opening day will be Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 9AM. It will be their 77th year welcoming visitors from all over the world. New at Reptile Gardens for 2014 is their latest claim to fame. Reptile Gardens has been officially designated the World's Largest Reptile Collection by the Guinness Book of World Records. In addition to the amazing reptile and amphibian collection, their botanical gardens continue to get more beautiful each year.
As the holidays approach, many people begin the quest for gifts that are memorable and out of the ordinary. Add to the season the busy shopping malls and outrageous prices, things can quickly become stressful. Do not despair ... unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list can be found at Reptile Gardens!
The summer season has come to an end; however, Reptile Gardens is open through the month of November from 9 am — 3 pm daily. And as an added bonus, all items in the gift shop are 20% off! Escape the cold bite of the chilly air and visit the Sky Dome where it is always warm and tropical. Not interested in seeing our reptile friends and botanical gardens? No problem, visit the gift shop for free!
Ever year, Reptile Gardens, located in Rapid City, South Dakota welcomes thousands of visitors. Some of the highlights of this unique attraction include the alligator, snake and bird shows. These shows are meant to educate, entertain, and inspire. One show in particular also helps to support biodiversity. By definition, biodiversity is the variety of life on earth including all plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms.
The tradition of tribal arts and crafts is well-rooted in New Guinea, stemming back thousands of years to well before European explorers first sighted the island in the 1500's. Many people wrongfully assume that it is located in Africa — which is forgivable since there is a nation in Africa called Guinea. New Guinea is, in fact, the second largest island in the world and is located northeast of Australia.
When you think of orchids in nature, what conjures in your mind - lush rainforests, exotic locations, and wedding boutonnieres? There are over 20,000 different kinds of orchids, not including countless thousands of hybrid varieties. Orchids live in on every continent of the world except Antarctica. This diverse and surprisingly hardy flowering plant comes in many shapes and sizes. We even have native orchids here in South Dakota. The flower of each variety has a unique and delicate character that is fascinating to the eye. Read on to discover just a few of the most common types of orchids.