Testimonials:

"A huge thank you, pupils have been raving about you and your animals. A really worthwhile, educational experience …"

"Dear Mitch
I am writing to you as I would like to reiterate my satisfaction and Thanks with regards to your attendance at my son's birthday party. It was a large group of mainly 6 year olds and lots of adults. Without doubt the party was a great success due to the professionalism you showed, the knowledge of the reptiles and of course reading the reactions of the children. My wife and I have been constantly told by parents of those children that were there that it was a great idea for a party and handled very well. I hope from these comments some more bookings will take place. Hazel attended my son's party 7 years ago, with Jack last week we will definitely book you again when our baby reaches a suitable age."
Gary, Natalie & Jack.

"Thank you for bringing the Reptile Experience back to our school. It was a fantastic success, as it was last year, and the students were talking about it days later. We hope to see you again in the future …"
Impington Village College

"Many thanks for the fantastic afternoon you gave the children … Will be in touch as hope you can return later in the year."

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TheAnimalExperience

OUR ANIMALS

Why not take a few minutes to meet a few of the stars of the show? The following is a selection of our animals, most of which are frequently taken to events but some can only be seen on a visit to us. We have many more and will be continuing to update this list over the coming weeks. If there is a particular animal you are interested in, please contact us.

REPTILES & MINI-BEASTS

Madagascar Day Gecko
Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis

Green Day Gecko

In contrast to most other gecko species, day geckos are active mainly during the day. As with all other geckos, day geckos lack eyelids, having, instead, rounded pupils and a clear, fixed plate covering their eyes which they clean with their tongues. Many species have bright green, red, and blue colors which make them popular terrarium or vivarium pets. These brilliant colors play a role in intraspecies recognition and also serve as camouflage. Day geckos have toe pads consisting of tiny lamellae which allow them to walk on plain vertical and inverted surfaces like bamboo or glass. Two Phelsuma species (Phelsuma gigas and Phelsuma edwardnewtoni) are now considered to be extinct, probably due to the destruction of their environments by human settlers and their domestic animals. Many day gecko species are endangered today because an increasing percentage of their natural habitat, especially tropical forest, is being destroyed by human activity.
Bearded Dragon
Pogona vitticeps

Bearded Dragon: "Samson"

Native to the semi-arid woodland, arid woodland, and rocky desert regions of Central Australia. Adults of this species usually grow to be about 2 feet in length, with the tail accounting for over half of the total body length.
Blue-tongued Skink
Tiliqua scincoides

Blue-tongued Skink

Amongst the largest members of the Skink family, blue-tongues can grow up to 37 cm in length. Omnivores, they feed on a wide variety of insects, gastropods, flowers, fruits and berries. Native to mainland Australia and some parts of New Zealand.
Bosc's Monitor Lizard
Varanus exanthematicus

Bosc's Monitor Lizard

The savannah monitor is a medium-sized species of monitor lizard native to Africa. The species is known as Bosc's monitor in Europe, since French scientist Louis Bosc first described the species.
Argentine Giant Tegu
Salvator merianae

Tegu: "Mowgli"

The Argentine black and white tegu, also called the Argentine giant tegu, is the largest species of tegu lizard. They are an omnivorous species which inhabits the tropical rain forests, savannas, and semi-deserts of east and central South America. Argentine tegus have unusually high intelligence. It has been observed and recorded that some will regularly and clearly seek out human affection, just as a dog or cat might. Some form a strong attachment to their keeper. Like many other reptiles, Argentine tegus go into brumation (a form of hibernation) in autumn when the temperature drops. They exhibit a high level of activity during their wakeful period of the year. Tegus fill ecological niches similar to those of monitor lizards, and are an example of convergent evolution.
Veiled Chameleon
Chamaeleo calyptratus

Veiled Chameleon: "Albert"

Native to the mountain regions of Yemen, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia the veiled chameleon can grow up to 60 cm in length, although 35-45 cm is typical. Well-known for their ability to change colour depending upon mood from bright lime green to a drab red/olive, their eyes that move independently giving them virtually 360° vision and their sticky tongue which can extend to over 20 cm long in less than 1/20 of a second.

Image courtesy of: Chris Kadet

San Francisco garter snake
Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia

San Francisco garter snake

The San Francisco garter snake is a slender multi-colored subspecies of the common garter snake. Designated as an endangered subspecies since the year 1967.
Sinaloan milk snake
Lampropeltis triangulum sinaloae

Sinaloan Milk Snake: "Milkshake"

Native to the rocky and semi-arid drylands of Mexico, this snake can grow up to 120 cm, and like other milk snakes is especially agile. Nocturnal, they subsist primarily on rodents, supplementing this diet with eggs, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates whenever the opportunity presents itself. Itself non-venomous, its colouring is designed to imitate the venomous coral snake with the two being distinguished by various folk rhymes such as "Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, friend of Jack".
Corn Snake
Elaphe guttata

Corn snake

Also known as the Red Rat Snake, the name "corn snake" derives from the maize like pattern on their bellies and the fact that they are commonly found in cornfields. Found throughout the South Eastern and Central United States, they are docile, reluctant to bite and grow up to 1.8 m. Nonvenomous, they subdue their prey with constriction, with a diet that consists primarily of rodents -- mainly mice and rats. However they are proficient climbers and may also scale trees in search of birds and bats.
Royal Python
Python regius

Royal Python: "Charlie"

The name "Royal Python" is based in part on the story that Cleopatra supposedly wore the snake around her wrist. Also known as the "Ball Python" due to its tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened -- in this state it can literally be rolled around. Typically growing to 90-120 cm in length, the snake's diet consists mostly of small mammals such as African soft-furred rats, shrews and striped mice. Our Royal Python, "Charlie" has now been with us for ~20 years.
Burmese Python
Python molurus bivittatus

Burmese Python: "Clarissa"

The Burmese Python is the largest subspecies of the Indian Python and one of the 6 largest snakes in the world, native to a big variation of tropic and subtropic areas of Southern- and Southeast Asia. Wild individuals average 3.7 metres long, but may reach up to 5.8 metres. Both of our Burmese, "Clarissa" and "Slytherin" (see below) are ~4m long.

Mainly nocturnal rainforest dwellers, they are equally at home in trees, on ground and in the water -- they're excellent swimmers, and can stay submerged up to half an hour. They are carnivorous, with a diet consisting primarily of birds and mammals killed by constriction. Exceptionally large pythons have been known to kill pigs, goats and even alligators.

Although they have become an invasive species in Florida (starting out as escaped pets), wild populations are considered to be threatened and are listed on Appendix II of CITES. They are hunted for leather, folk medicines and food (especially in China).

Albino Burmese Python
Python molurus bivittatus

Albino Burmese Python: "Slytherin" and "Ally"

See Burmese Python above. The Burmese python is frequently captive-bred for colour, pattern, and more recently, size. Its albino form is especially popular and is the most widely available morph. They are white with patterns in butterscotch yellow and burnt orange.
Reticulated python
Python reticulatus

Reticulated python

The reticulated python is a species of python found in Southeast Asia. They are the world's longest snakes and longest reptiles, and among the three heaviest snakes. Like all pythons, they are nonvenomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans. However, cases of people killed and even eaten by reticulated pythons have been documented.
Marginated tortoise
Testudo marginata

Marginated tortoise

Native to southern Greece, this is the largest European tortoise reaching a weight of up to 5 kg and a length of 35 cm. Living primarily in mountainous regions, it can be found at elevations as high as 1600 m with its dark shell colour helping to absorb the heat required to survive at this altitude. They can live for up to 140 years.

Image courtesy of: Richard Mayer.

Green Tree Frog
Litoria caerulea

Australian Green Tree Frog

The Australian green tree frog, simply green tree frog in Australia, White's tree frog, or dumpy tree frog is a species of tree frog native to Australia and New Guinea. the Australian green tree frog reaches 10 cm (4 in) or more in length. Its average lifespan in captivity, about 16 years, is long compared with most frogs. Docile and well suited to living near human dwellings, Australian green tree frogs are often found on window sills or inside houses, eating insects drawn by the light. The green tree frog screams when it is in danger to scare off its foe, and squeaks when it is touched.

Image courtesy of: Bidgee.

Thorny Devil Stick Insect
Eurycantha calcarata

Thorny Devil Stick Insect

Eurycantha calcarata (common names thorny devil stick insect and giant spiny stick insect) is a species of phasmid endemic to Australasia. This is popular for handling too!
Leaf insect
Phylliidae

Leaf insect

The family Phylliidae (often misspelled Phyllidae) contains the extant true leaf insects or walking leaves, which include some of the most remarkably camouflaged leaf mimics in the entire animal kingdom. They occur from South Asia through Southeast Asia to Australia.
Emperor Scorpion
Pandinus imperator

Emperor Scorpion

Native to Africa, the Emperor is one of the largest species of Scorpion in the world with adults averaging about 20 cm in length. Emperors are burrowing scorpions, and digging with their front legs may burrow more than 6 feet down into the earth. However, feeding primarily on termites, they are also known to burrow into termite mounds and make their homes there. Its size makes it a regular Hollywood star and the Emperor Scorpion has been used in movies such as The Mummy, The Scorpion King and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Goliath Bird-eater Spider
Theraphosa blondi

Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula

Belonging to the tarantula group, the Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula is considered to be the largest spider by leg span in the world. Although named by a Victorian explorer after witnessing one eating a hummingbird, it's diet more commonly consists of insects and other invertebrates. Native to the rainforests of South America, Birdeaters are commonly found in marshy or swampy areas living in burrows that they have dug or which have been abandoned by other creatures. In the wild, females typically live 15 to 25 years. Males live rather less long (3 to 6 years) as they are killed by the females after mating. Meet our animals at one of our Animal Experience Parties (Goliath Tarantula by request).
Giant African Millipede
Archispirostreptus gigas

Giant African Millipede

The giant African millipede, is one of the largest millipedes, growing up to 38.5 centimetres (15.2 in) in length, 67 millimetres (2.6 in) in circumference. It has approximately 256 legs, although the number of legs changes with each molting so it can vary according to each individual. They are herbivores and produce a foul tasting liquid if frightened.

FUR & FEATHERS

Sugar Glider
Petaurus breviceps

Sugar Glider

A small gliding marsupial originally native to eastern and northern mainland Australia, New Guinea, and the Bismarck Archipelago, the Sugar Glider is named for its preference for sweet foods and its ability to glide through the air, much like a flying squirrel. It is a nocturnal tree dwelling creature, with a diet of insects, small vertebrates and the sweet sap of certain trees. Litters comprise up to 4 “joeys” though 1 or 2 are more common.
Coati
Nasua nasua

Coati "Yin" and "Yang"

Coati (commonly known as Coatimundi, members of the Racoon family) are diurnal mammals native to South America, Central America, and south-western North America. Coatis have nonretractable claws. Coatis also are, in common with raccoons and other procyonids double-jointed and their ankles can rotate beyond 180°; they are therefore able to descend trees head first. Yin and Yang do not come out to bookings as they have too much fun in their enclosure but you can book to come and see them on one of our Coati Experiences.
Ferret
Mustela putorius furo

Ferret

The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is the domesticated form of the European polecat. The history of the ferret's domestication is uncertain, like that of most other domestic animals, but it is likely that ferrets have been domesticated for at least 2,500 years. They are still used for hunting rabbits in some parts of the world, but increasingly, they are kept only as pets. Our ferrets don't come out as they are too active for events and enjoy playing at the zoo.
Barn Owl
Tyto alba

Barn Owl "Reggie" and "Ronnie"

The barn owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed species of owl and one of the most widespread of all birds. It is also referred to as the common barn owl to distinguish it from other species in its family, Tytonidae, which forms one of the two main lineages of living owls (the other being the typical owls: Strigidae). The barn owl is found almost everywhere in the world except polar and desert regions. Reggie and Ronnie are currently working hard visiting schools and parties.
Eurasian Eagle Owl
Bubo bubo

Eurasian Eagle Owls: "Lilo" and "Stitch"

The Eurasian eagle owl is a species of eagle owl that resides in much of Eurasia. It is one of the largest species of owl, and females can grow to a total length of 75 cm (30 in), with a wingspan of 188 cm (6 ft 2 in), males being slightly smaller.
Meerkat
Suricata suricatta

Meerkat

A small mammal, belonging to the mongoose family, meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob", "gang" or "clan" and often contains about 20 meerkats. Meerkats have an average life span of 12-14 years. Partially immune to certain venoms, meerkats are able to eat a range of snakes and scorpions although they are primarily insectivores. Altruistic and forming strong social bonds they forage in a group with one sentry on guard watching for predators while the others search for food. The meerkat standing guard makes peeping sounds when all is well but when it spots danger, it barks loudly or whistles. It has recently been noted that meerkat calls may carry specific meanings, with specific calls indicating the approach of snakes, birds of prey, or other predators.
African Pygmy Hedgehog
Atelerix albiventris

African Pygmy Hedgehog

The most common species of domesticated hedgehog is the white-bellied or four-toed hedgehog. It is smaller than the European hedgehog, and thus is sometimes called the African pygmy hedgehog.
Chinchilla
Chinchilla

Chinchilla

Native to South America, chinchillas live in burrows or crevices in rocks and are usually found in social groups known as herds.They are agile jumpers and can jump very high, up to 6 ft (1.8 m). In the wild, chinchillas have been observed eating plants, fruits, seeds, and small insects.

Image courtesy of: Jaime E.Jiménez.

All of the text describing animals on this page is available for reuse under the terms of: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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