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Zoo Vivarium Pictures

Discussion in 'Herp Photos' started by BlackJack, Jul 29, 2006.

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  1. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I just finished a two-week volunteer job at our zoo (Zoo Basel, in Switzerland).
    In short, I'd like to say the reality of the job is VERY VERY different from my fantasies about it. I learned that there is a huge amount of frustration involved in reconciling the administration's vs the animal keepers' opinions on the husbandry of the animals. (Not just at this zoo.) And a lot of what I've learned on the internet and here on the forum didn't agree with either of them!!:(

    Having said all that, I'm glad I did it. My boss, Wolfgang, was/is fantastic and I enjoyed working with him and learning from him. It was a great opportunity for me to deal with a lot of herps I'd never personally think of owning.

    Here are some pics:
    Veiled Chameleon. This one was thirsty and as I was misting the screen top enclosure, she climbed up and was lapping up the drops.

    Here's a tiny baby Egg-eating snake:

    A six-month old Brazilian Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria cenchria)
    All the babies were having bad sheds and needed some soaking and help. (Husbandry problems) :( :mad:
    They're beautiful, though, and now I'm really impatient for Talyn's babies.

    Here's a Leaf Insect. (The first step in getting over my insect phobia was to move these guys to a new terrarium) They were kind of cool. :)

    I've got more pics if you want them. ;)
  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Great pics Andrea,,,of course we'd like to see more.
  3. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Great you even have to think twice about us wanthing to see more?!
  4. Colleen

    Colleen Elite Member

    What an experience! Dealing with administrative end that doesn't share the same goals and objectives of the group can cause some problems in any organization not just zoos. I have seen with different administration at the Detroit Zoo, things change, exhibits, care, education, performing vs. no-performing animals etc. Change isn't all ways for the good. Even though someone may have the degree to work in a zoo doesn't mean that they have the actual hands on knowledge needed to care for animals.
  5. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Awesome pics Andrea...:)...of course we want more.
  6. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    More pics

    Thanks for your interest and compliments.
    I just needed a break from the computer for a while (AND I wanted to make you beg for more!) :D ;)

    Here is a beautiful Madagascar Day Gecko

    Here's a Tokay gecko that was let loose behind the scenes. There are 3 large Tokay geckos that have separate territories there. I called this one "Buzz". He hung around behind the lockers most of the time and we had to be careful where we rested our hands! He liked to bite!

    Here is what I think is called a Gidgee Skink: ("Dornschwanzskink" in German) These were very mellow animals that didn't mind being held or petted. The thorny tail is really cool. :cool:

    I have more, but I need to go to bed now. So you'll have to wait for the rest!
    Thanks for looking!
  7. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    The tokay is soo pretty!
  8. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    everything looks pretty cool. can't wait to see more pics. maybe you should show the rainbow pics to Talyn and tell her to get going! :D :p
  9. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Very colorful....cant wait to see more. :)
  10. SpindleHead

    SpindleHead Elite Member

    I am not very knowledgeable in my different reptiles but the last picture looks like a uromastyx to me. Maybe not??

    Anyway great pictures, you are lucky to get an experience like that.
  11. Dawg

    Dawg Elite Member

    looks like somkind of uromastyx to me too tails are verry similar to mine
  12. joeking

    joeking Elite Member

    What a lovely leaf that is...what kind of tree does it come from and it looks like something was eating the end of it lol...if I had a bug I'd want a bug like that. There was a centipede at the petstore that was pretty interesting.
  13. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks!!! I looked up Uromastyx and that's exactly what it is! The German name for Uromastyx is "Dornschwanzagamen" I confused it with "Dornschwanzskink" because my boss just referred to them as "Dornschwanz" (Thorny tailed). :rolleyes:
    Anway, I thought it didn't look similar to the skink pics but this was my first experience with so many different lizard species!

    Here are some more of those beauties: (They are so sweet!) I love the greenish yellow on the sides of this one.

    This one's right eye is missing... I didn't even ask how.... he's also missing some toes, poor thing :(
    That orange is just beautiful, don't you think?
    More pics on the way! :D
  14. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    The alternate name for uromastyx is "spiny-tailed lizard", or "spiny-tailed agama", so that explains that ;) They're agamas, which (duh) are lizards, hence those two names. The genus name is Uromastyx, hence the other.

    In that way they're kind of like dinosaurs. Any dinosaur name you can come up with is actually the name of the genus (Velociraptor, Triceratops, etc.). They lack common names because they don't exist today, so the only people who really deal with them are scientists. Within each genus there are often more than one species, but we non-scientists simply know them all under one collective name derived from the genus.

    To illustrate this I present triceratops as an example once again. The name "triceratops" comes from their genus Triceratops, and this genus actually encompasses at least 2 species (T. horridum and T. prorsus), and up to a possible, yet unconfirmed, 9 species total. I think Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the only dinosaurs we commonly refer to using the entire species name and not just the genus. This is somewhat odd, cause I think T-rex is the only member of it's genus, although Tarbosaurus bataar was formerly classed as a Tyrannosaurus species. So anyway, the next time you look at a uromastyx, think of a triceratops or T-rex :p

    Sorry about getting off track there. Hey, at least it started out being related to your thread, but then one thing lead to another :rolleyes:
  15. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Want some more?

    Thanks Matt, can you ID this tortoise?
    Here's some kind of African Tortoise (African spurred tortoise??? Geochelone sulcata (?) ) Again I could be wrong here because the shell is not supposed to be like that (with all the pyramids growing).

    These were fun: They'd follow me around and try to knock me over -- a couple of times they nearly succeeded! They are big, heavy and strong -- and faster than you'd think!:)
    Here's a close-up:

    Hmm what else have I got in the goodie bag of photos?

    Here's the situation with the Burmese Pythons we have. (These pics aren't great because I had to take them through the glass.) These snakes are huge AND VERY VERY dangerous! My boss literally risks his life to throw some rats in there. These girls are territorial and aggressive and they are fast! When the door to the enclosure opens, they know it!!
    The bad thing here is that they are housed together (a space issue) and because they are so large and so dangerous it's too risky to separate them for feeding. Even though they are fed when they are lying farthest apart and given a pile of 6-7 jumbo rats each, it often happens that they decide they want to eat the same rat! This is extremely dangerous and can (and someday probably will) lead to the death of one of them.
    Here is such a situation:
    The larger female in the water has most of her coils around the smaller female and is squeezing with unimaginable force. The other female has managed to pull herself up far enough to reach the rats at the other end of the enclosure, and she proceeds to eat them all while still trying to free her back end from the death grip of the other:
    And swallowing:
    Here she's finally pulled herself free. The bigger female seemed not to realize it as she stayed in this tight coiled ball for at least another hour. (When I left she was still like that, and the smaller female literally "vacuumed up" most of the available rats. I watched her down 8 of them -- she even risked leaning down and taking the one near the water!):eek:
  16. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Actually, there is a handful of species out there in which pyramiding is a natural occurrence in shell growth and is therefore supposed to look like that. This is one of them, so the pyramiding is ok.

    I believe it's a radiated tortoise (Geochelone radiata), but there are at least 7 other species that also have that type of shell and pattern, including the star tortoise (Geochelone elegans), which is the only other one I can name off the top of my head. Star tortoises are from India though, whereas I believe radiateds are in Africa. Don't quote me on that though.

    I also managed to edit my previous post, as more came to mind that I felt like putting in there, so it's borderline irrelevant to this thread now :rolleyes:
  17. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I always find your posts extremely educational, Matt; so feel free to add your thoughts to any of my threads! :)
  18. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Haha, well thanks :eek: I always enjoy yuor pics, which I forgot to even comment on! NICE PICS :D I wouldn't mind having an egg-eater, leaf insect, and day gecko like those ;)
  19. aiden_punx

    aiden_punx Elite Member

    greta pics andrea theose burms look huge. how big were they?
  20. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    The bigger one is gigantic: as thick (maybe thicker) than a telephone pole (approx 30" girth?) and at least 16ft long. The smaller one is not that much smaller. As a reference (I wear a size 6 ladies shoe -- the smaller one's head is at least 1.5 times bigger than my foot!)
    From the girth/feeding rule, the larger one could easily swallow me whole! (She is thicker than my hips!)
    So I really don't think that 8 giant jumbo rats each are much of a meal for these girls. (Maybe that's one reason why they always seem so active and aggressive when the enclosure door opens. -- They're hungry!!!) From their size I'd expect them to eat that many large rabbits! But again, that was my opinion vs "the way it is"... :(
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