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FAQs about Reptiles

1. How do you care for the animals?

A professional zookeeper is on hand daily to feed the reptiles, clean their terraria and check on their health. The wellbeing of the live animals is a top priority.

Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, which produced this exhibition, has been certified for 25 years by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This association ensures that its members follow best practices for animal care and conservation.

Here at the museum, our live animal care committee reviews all exhibitions and programmes with live animals.

2. How do you create habitats suitable for the animals?

The habitat for each animal has been developed specifically in response to its needs. These habitats are the result of more than 50 years of experience in keeping and breeding reptiles and observing them in the wild.

Snakes and lizards, for example, prefer small, secretive spaces. The alligator snapping turtle rarely moves in the wild; it is an ambush predator. It can move around quite easily if it wishes to.

3. Are the bright lights over the habitats suitable for the reptiles?

Ectothermic (cold-blooded) reptiles acquire body heat by basking or seeking out warm areas.

The lights, while not as bright as sunlight, provide hot spots so the animals can thermo-regulate exactly as they would in the wild. Many reptiles prosper with exposure to UV light, which some of the lamps provide.

In addition, the lighting is on a normal day/night cycle in which the lights turn off at night.

4. Are the reptiles from the wild or were they bred in captivity?

All the reptiles in the exhibition were bred in captivity. Most are endangered species.

Captive animals generally live longer, healthier lives because they don't confront predators, disease or other threats common in the wild.

They are ambassadors for their species, and reinforce the importance of conservation.

Return to the Reptiles home page.