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Scales and Tales

Reptile Gardens in the Winter

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?

One thing doesn't change; the Safari room under the Sky Dome is warm and full of life! Orchids are in bloom, and lizards are scurrying around on the ground. The turtles that inhabit Tortuga Falls are brought into the warm shelter of the big dome for the colder months. The temperature of the Safari Room is kept around a balmy 80 degrees on a daily basis, with back-up generators ready to go if the area happens to receive a winter storm that generates a power outage.

The lower level of the Sky Dome is also the winter home to some of Reptile Garden's famous residents. Maniac, the huge saltwater crocodile can be found in his enclosure, and is free to go outside if he chooses on warmer days. Just around the corner from Maniac lives many other creatures including bugs, frogs, and spiders that remain none the wiser of cold outside temperatures.

The crocodilians that star in the gator show in the summertime are housed indoors during the cold months as well. Ken, the Head Curator of Reptiles, simply opens the door and they saunter inside themselves as temperatures drop.

Prairie Dog Town is quiet during the winter, as the furry critters head into their underground burrows for much of the cold season. If there happens to be a stretch of warm days, a few will pop up and wander around for an hour or two, but the majority is content to hunker down until spring.

Darwin the Kookaburra, who can be found in the summer months at Tortuga Falls, is taken to the bird facility and is kept indoors since he is a tropical bird. The rest of the birds also remain at the indoor bird enclosure for the duration of the winter.

The giant Aldabra tortoises go into their building every night all summer long. Once the weather cools the gentle giants spend the days indoors, warm and protected from the elements.

Reptile Gardens will remain open to the public until November 30, 2014 with daily hours from 9 am — 3 pm. The gift shop is offering the annual 20% off sale throughout November, which includes items that are already on sale. Reptile Gardens will reopen for the 2015 season on the 15th of March.

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