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Alligators, Crocodiles and Dinosaurs, Oh My!
- Posted by: Kelly Jessup on October 9, 2012
I opted for an extra long-weekend for Thanksgiving this year. I’ve been meaning to get out to the Indian River Reptile Zoo all summer, and with the impending final days of the Dinosaurs Live! event lingering I decided that it would be a great day to take my kids – I’m so glad I did.
When we arrived, I could barely get my son through the door because he was so excited about the “crunched car” in the parking lot. He was even more excited when I told him that a dinosaur stepped on it.
I managed to get them through the great little souvenir shop into the reptile building. Immediately upon entering you could choose a path, left or right. To the right was a crowd of people in an education room and a staff member holding up a very large snake – a Boa Constrictor. After giving him a pet, we headed back to the left – over to the Alligator tank. I had to lift my son up to see, but once I did – he was in awe. This gigantic beast was lounging there, and as if on queue, turned its head toward us, and opened it’s mouth. If that doesn’t make a three year old boys’ day, I don’t know what will!
We ventured around the rest of the building checking out the snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators and crocodiles and then proceeded outside toward the Dinosaur exhibit. Along the way, we had to stop for a short archaeological dig where they uncovered some bones and a skull.
The dinosaurs did not disappoint – right at the front entrance was the T-Rex – a good choice I thought, if my son didn’t run screaming at that point, I knew we were good to see the rest – and so we did, all of the dinosaurs I remember reading about as a kid. The posters for the event say “They Move, they Roar” and it’s true – they do! These life-like creatures, moved, roared, and even spit water at us.
After circling the dinosaurs a couple more times, we headed back inside and were greeted by a very friendly member of their staff who asked us if had any questions – my son wanted to know what crocodiles eat, and we were told that they are fed one whole chicken (raw) once a week. She explained that since they don’t move very much, and are cold-blooded (thus, don’t need to use food to heat their bodies) they really don’t need much to eat. A fun fact that my kids and I learned together.
The only thing I wish I’d done before I left was ask if turkey was on the menu for them this weekend.