Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Maritime Reptile Zoo: A Review

I'm just going to go ahead and say that I am completely obsessed with reptiles. Especially snakes. Especially since getting a ball python. I wanted a snake for a while and finally getting one was one of the best decisions of my adult life.

This fascination with snakes has led me to every reptile themed event I can afford to go to in Halifax. Typically, my friends and I are the only grown-ups not accompanying children there, which is a little weird, but you learn to roll with it. In spite of this, I didn't know that there was a permanent reptile zoo in Dartmouth until fairly recently.

I went to go check it out a week or two ago and I'll be honest, it was a little underwhelming. The fact that it's there is really cool. The place does reptile rescue, rehabilitation, and adoptions which is a very good thing to know (I took a look at the application process for adoptions and it seems like they're really careful with the animals). All that is great, however, the place itself is nestled in a strip mall in the Burnside industrial park, so the zoo has a sort of bland, institutional feel to it. The walls are bare, the enclosures are small and functional. I fucked up on my timing and went there in between feedings so there was nothing really going on except one of the keepers chilling on the floor with a baby alligator.

The staff seemed friendly, but the only other people there were an old dude and his very tiny granddaughter, so I kinda kept to myself and felt like a weirdo. I did talk to the girl who was there briefly about ball pythons when she had one out to show the tiny granddaughter and she obviously knew what she was talking about.

All that being said, I think the biggest problem with the zoo is a lack of traffic, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that nobody knows it's there. I would definitely recommend a visit to people with kids so they can learn a bit about reptiles and interact with them in a safe way. They've got all kinds of cool stuff there, tortoises, crocodiles, an anaconda, caimans, a little monkey, whatever you want. The non-dangerous animals they will take out so kids can touch them. It would also be interesting to go up during a feeding.

Anyway, yeah, not super exciting for disillusioned twenty-somethings, but if you have kids, definitely a good idea to check it out at least once.

Their website with hours and location is here (their site is actually pretty cool for reptile owners and enthusiasts coz it has all kinds of handy information and links, including what exact species are and are not permitted to be kept in Nova Scotia).
Their feeding schedule is here.

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