Wild Encounters: Reptile Nursery

Wild Encounters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) – Riverbanks is giving a behind-the-scenes look at its reptile nursery to all of its visitors.

We are here with Herpetologist Sean Foley.

Sean Foley, Herpetologist: “Okay, so this is our nursery that’s opened up in the last month or so. It used to be an old utility closet and we decided, to be able to use that space better, we wanted to bring some of the things that were in the back to the front. So, like egg, incubation, babies…things like that that normally people wouldn’t get to see. You’re able to see them now through this window and we got incubators in here, babies in here, all kinds of new stuff.”

Let’s talk about what the incubation profess is like. What are they seeing?

Foley: “Okay, so we have various types of incubators. This incubator here is for leaf-tailed gecko eggs and it’s going to be cooler than the room. The room stays at about 75 degrees. All the incubators are different temperatures. So, this one stays at about 72 degrees because these leaf-tailed geckos need to incubate at cooler temperatures and then if you look at some of these other incubators, we have snake eggs in these. These are going to be anywhere from 78 to 80 to 82 degrees and all of these snake eggs that we have currently here are some of our native snakes. So, those don’t need to be incubated at higher temperatures like some of the tropical snakes. So, these guys are about 80 degrees to 78 to 82 degrees.”

People weren’t normally able to see these. All of these were behind-the-scenes and now, if you come to Riverbanks Zoo, this is something you can walk right up and see how the process of everything works because this was behind-the-scenes?

Foley: “Exactly, this was all behind-the-scenes. So, visitors were not able to see what was going on behind with all the eggs, all the babies…but now we can bring that forward, at least in a small dose, because most of the eggs…we have about 60 incubating eggs total, and most of those are in the back…but now we can bring some of those forward. So, visitors get to see exactly what is happening throughout the year that they normally wouldn’t get to see. So, it’s a great way for us to show that.”


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