Chilling out with Cold-blooded Critters
The brand-new Reptile Walk, located behind the Zoo’s Reptile House and across from our Galápagos tortoise exhibit, is home to more than 50 species of turtles, tortoises, crocodilians, amphibians, and a surprising collection of creatures native to California. It is interesting, startling, and way cool, both literally and figuratively. Locals can stake claim to living in a biodiversity hotspot, and everyone can behold the fascinating creatures that swim, slither, saunter, and scurry through life. Even if you suffer from herpetophobia (fear of reptiles), a stroll along Reptile Walk will render you utterly at ease, if not downright smitten, with this captivating group of animals.
The design of the exhibits and viewing areas show how our understanding of the different species’ natural history has increased over the years, as well as our awareness about how people like to view animals in their environment. The Reptile Walk buildings have wide, breathable walking spaces with glass viewing areas low enough for kids to get a good look at the creatures within. The open-air exhibit for the critically endangered Chinese alligators is part sand, part water, with ample basking areas for the two females that share the space. There are multispecies pond exhibits, with turtles of all persuasions paddling peacefully by.
Reptile Walk highlights the importance of wet habitats, like marshes, bogs, fens, and swamps, and the beautiful array of wildlife that lives there.