On a scale from 1-10, the Aquarium’s Reptile Discovery program was definitely a 10! Last Saturday, February 21, members of all ages met Aquarium herpetologist Josh Zalabak, who taught an exclusive hands-on program about the Aquarium’s reptile collection.
Hearts raced as Josh presented one of the Aquarium’s copperhead snakes – a venomous species. Josh pointed out the characteristics that distinguish this snake from other non-venomous snakes found in South Carolina. He also introduced Kettle the corn snake, Rizzo the black rat snake and Blueprint the indigo snake.
Josh provided excellent supervision and guidance as members tested their coordination while carefully picking up Rizzo using snake hooks. An opportunity to meet Blueprint was particularly special because the indigo snake species is now extinct in South Carolina due to lack of habitat and excessive hunting of this species’ beautifully colored skin.
In addition to proper snake handling techniques, Josh demonstrated step-by-step how to pick up and hold one of the Aquarium’s juvenile American alligators. With safety measures in place, Josh provided moderate assistance as a brave participant held an American alligator!
Next, the group gathered to meet a bullfrog, who the kids affectionately named “Awesome Man.” Josh concluded the two-hour program by using a plush to reenact how he performs the annual physical of the Aquarium’s very own albino alligator – Alabaster!
The Aquarium team felt so lucky to have a room full of engaged members and look forward to offering this members-only program again later in the year! To learn more about Membership and its exclusive benefits, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.