I was SO excited today to write a blog about my recent visit to one of the of country’s most diverse collection of reptiles at the St. Louis Zoo. The Charles H. Hoessle Herpetarium is home to hundreds of species of reptiles found all over the world, most of which are in danger or threatened.
Look at this toothy creature! Rarely seen in zoos, the False Gharial is unique because of its long slender snout and sharp pointy teeth designed to catch fish. Found in Indonesia and Malaysia these crocodilians are endangered due to habitat destruction, interference with humans, and the skin trade.
One of my favorite species that has quite an aggressive reputation is the Gaboon Viper. Found in the tropical rainforests of East and West Central Africa this snake holds the record for having the longing fangs which can reach 2 inches!
I could stare at these gorgeous creatures for hours! Alligator Snapping Turtles are some the world’s largest freshwater turtles weighing in at 155 – 175 pounds. Their sharp jaws catch anything from fish, frogs, snakes, birds, and even alligators.
Behind me is what “Soni” will look like a few years. This is a full grown adult alligator enjoying the beautiful sunshine!
One of the reasons why I favor the St. Louis Zoo’s reptile collection over others is because their exhibits are extremely naturalistic. They replicate each individual species habitat.
The zoo is also a leader in reptile conservation and has established breeding programs for endangered species. For more information on how YOU can visit the St. Louis Zoo please visit www.stlzoo.org