Celebrate World Turtle Day @ NRZ



(Image: www.naturalawakeningsmag.com)

World Turtle Day is on May 23rd 2017, but here at The National Reptile Zoo, we just can’t wait that long to celebrate!

For the entire month of May, we are focusing our spotlight on Turtles and Tortoise from around the world and we’re here to teach you all about these amazing animals!


Throughout the entire month we will focus our encounter sessions (in The National Reptile Zoo, Gowran AND The Lost World, Drogheda) on Turtles and Tortoise so you can learn all about them, their habitat, how we care for them in the Zoo and the struggles they face in the wild.


The Main Event

World TURTLE day poster 2 edited

On Saturday & Sunday, May 20th/21st we will be hosting a Turtle/Tortoise weekend!

Whats included:

  • Meet our brand new additions – Critically endangered Roti Island Snake Neck Turtles
  • Turtle / Tortoise Encounters – Get up close and personal with Turtles and Tortoise
  • Morphometric Demonstrations – learn how we weigh and measure our tortoise and turtles
  • Faecal sampling – Peak through the lens of our microscope and help with the health checks of our tortoise and turtles.

Throughout the month of May we will also be hosting a raffle to win some Turtle goodies from our gift shop and a family pass for The National Reptile Zoo in order to raise some much needed funds for The Turtle Survival Alliance.

TSA flier


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Endangered turtles take flight!

Outside Plane with James and Crew 3

“Endangered turtles take flight”

Outside plane with James and crew 2

Yep, you read that right! Last Thursday, four Roti Island Snake Neck Turtles, flew from Southampton airport to Dublin airport as part of their journey to their new home here in Co.Kilkenny.

The National Reptile Zoo partnered with Flybe, Europe’s largest regionlal airline, to transport four critically endangered Snake Neck Turtles from ZSL London Zoo, to their new home here in The National Reptile Zoo.

Outside Plane with James and Crew 3

Accompanied by Zoo Director, James Hennessy, the Roti Island Snake Neck Turtles delighted passengers and crew when they had the opportunity to take in the air and pop their distinctive long necks out of their boxes before taking off for the short one hour and twenty minute flight.

During the summer months, we will be housing the turtles in our Lost World exhibit, located inside Funtasia Waterpark, Drogheda, Co.Louth after which time they will be permanently relocated to their new home here in The National Reptile Zoo, Gowran, Co.Kilkenny.


Roti Island Snake Neck Turtles (Chelodina mccordi) are IUCN red-listed as critically endangered. The species occurs in three seperate populations covering an area of just 70 km² on Roti Island, a small Indonesian island that lies 311km off the Australian coast.

Flybe’s cargo operation is no stranger to transporting rare species with previous special passengers having included ospreys, seals, Blondie the albino hedgehog who was flown to Guernsey; a sextet of rare Australian ‘big belly’ seahorses to the Deep Sea World Aquarium in Edinburgh and 10 stump-tailed macaques who travelled from Edinburgh to Southampton.

On board with James and Crew

As we are a conservation Zoo, we are thrilled to have worked with Iri and the team at ZSL London Zoo in order to facilitate the relocation of these four turtles and we cannot thank Flybe enough for their generosity and assistance in getting the turtles from London to their new home here in Ireland.

James and Iri

(Pictured above: Iri Gill, Head of Herpetology at ZSL London Zoo & James Hennessy, Director, National Reptile Zoo)

For the month of May, our spotlight is on Turtles and Tortoise around the world and to celebrate World Turtle Day (May 23rd) we will be hosting a special Turltle /Tortoise themed weekend later this month where you will be given the opportunity to learn all about these amazing creatures and you will get to meet the Roti Island Snake Neck Turtles in both The National Reptile Zoo, Gowran, Co.Kilkenny and in The Lost World, Funtasia Waterpark, Drogheda, Co.Louth.

For more information on our World Turtle Day (weekend May 20th & 21st) click here.

Once again we would like to thank Iri and the team at ZSL London Zoo and the entire team at Flybe, as well as the staff at Southampton airport and especially the crew from flight BE387  from Southampton to Dublin at 18:45 on April 27th.

Outside Plane 1 with crew and James

Until next time,

The National Reptile Zoo Team


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Easter at The National Reptile Zoo

Easter 2017

Our April spotlight is on eggs and what better way to bring learning to life than to take part in a dig for fossil eggs?

We’ve discovered some dinosaur fossils here at The National Reptile Zoo and we need your help to find the fossil eggs!

Become a junior paleontologist this Easter by helping us to use brushes and tools to find the fossil eggs in the sand! When you find your egg, you collect your prize and receive your Junior Paleontologist certificate!

You’ll get to learn all about fossils and eggs, dig for your own egg, get a prize and a certificate all included in your regular admission!

We’re on the lookout for junior paleontologists from Saturday April 8th to Sunday April 23rd!

Bake Sale for Temple Street

We know you guys will be stuffed with Easter Egg chocolate over the school holidays this month but we’re hoping to tempt you anyway!

The team here at The National Reptile Zoo are hosting a bake sale as part of The Great Irish Bake for Temple Street on Monday April 17th!

great irish bake logo

Our team are all getting their aprons on to bake lots of nice things for you guys to eat when you visit us on the 17th, with all proceeds from the bake sale going to Temple Street.

We hope you guys will help us for such a worthy cause!

The Lost World Re-Opens

The Easter holidays are really busy for the National Reptile Zoo as we are set to open the doors to The Lost World once again on April 8th!

entrance 2

The Lost World is back and better than ever as we have lots of new stuff for 2017 including an interactive Critter Cave where you can get hands on with some creepy crawlies as well as traditional favourites such as our reptile encounter zone!

The Lost World is located inside Funtasia (Drogheda Co.Louth) and will be open from April 8th to 23rd, then every weekend until the Summer when we will open full time again!

Cool 2 School

We are also proud to announce that for the months of April, May and June we are the proud sponsors of Beat 102-103 fm’s Cool 2 School initiative!

Cool 2 School

If you know a child that would love to be taken to school with the Audi A1 Beat Fleet and The National Reptile Zoo, you can nominate them here.

As always we will keep you posted throughout April about our offers and events,  just keep an eye on our social media accounts!

Until next time,

The National Reptile Zoo Team

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March Madnesssssss is finally here!

The National Reptile Zoo turns ELEVEN years old on St.Patrick’s Day and we’re celebrating all month long. Having a birthday month  is a thing now, right?!

Poster Draft 3 jpeg

Here’s everything you need to know:

March 6 -10th: FREE TEA / COFFEE for EVERY visitor!

March 17| 18 | 19: SNAKE HISSSSSSTERIA  (event)

  • See Pearl, Ireland’s largest snake
  • Arts & Crafts – Snake Enrichment Workshop – Learn how all about snake habitats and make your own snake hide!
  • Snake handling, hooking and feeding demos!
  • Snake morphometric demos – get a behind the scenes look at how we weigh & measure our snakes during encounter sessions across the weekend!

March 20|21|22|23|24: 2 FOR 1 ADMISSION

March 26th: Mother’s Go Free! Treat your mom this mother’s day with a trip to The National Reptile Zoo and she will get in for free! (When  accompanied with a full paying adult/child)



We are also planning some competitions in the Zoo and across our social media platforms, so stay tuned!

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February Zoo News!

February Zoo News!

Hey Guys!

Once again we’ve had a very busy month here at The National Reptile Zoo so we’re here to tell you what we’ve been up to!

February’s spotlight was on Reptile Relationships and our keepers /educators spent the month telling our visitors all about the mating habits of our reptile residents!

Alligator Fact

Did you know?

Scorpions are known to take part in a ‘mating dance’!

Scorpion Mating Dance TV Display

Things got very romantic here at The National Reptile Zoo on the international day of love, Valentine’s Day!

We were celebrating the FIFTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY of our Yellow Foot Tortoise, Michael (45) and Michelle (50) and we invited four lucky couples along for a romantic date night they would never forget!

date night

National Reptile Zoo Love-5

Pictured above: Eric & Gillian Corcoran with Yellow Foot Tortoise (Michael & Michelle). Photo by Pat Moore.

Guests were treated to Prosecco on arrival, followed by a romantic candle-lit picnic with scrumptious food provided by Glasraí & Goodies. They were then given a guided tour of our Zoo by Jonny, our Animal Collections Manager. This exclusive after hours tour really was a VIP experience! Our couples were then guided inside our Tropical Walk-Through Dome, the pathway inside lit only by the gentle flicker of candles, setting the scene for the ultimate romantic moment as the couples met Michael & Michelle and got to feed them with red rose petals!

dome on date night

Above: Candles lining the pathway inside our Tropical Walk Through Dome!

The biggest snake in Ireland is now housed in The National Reptile Zoo! 

February saw Pearl, the biggest snake in Ireland, at 17ft long and 100kg in weight, being moved into her new home here in Gowran. As with every new reptilian resident, Pearl first had to spend a few months in quarantine but is now available for the public to see, in her new exhibit.

Pearl with Christina in Exhibit

Pearl, pictured above with our Keeper Christina, is a seven year old Burmese Python.


Huge congratulations to Sarah (aged 9) from Co.Tipperary and Molly (aged 3)  from Co.Wexford! Sarah and Molly were chosen as the February winners in our monthly colouring competition!

Your artwork is great girls, keep up the excellent work!

colouring comp winners

Our monthly Facebook ‘check-in’ winner is Dan Malone, from Dublin. Congratulations Dan, we look forward to seeing you and your family again soon!

February Birthdays @ The National Reptile Zoo

Whether you had a Radical Reptile Party here in NRZ or our Zoo To You team visited your home, we were thrilled to be part of your celebrations!

We’d like to wish a massive happy birthday to everyone that celebrated their birthday with us in Febraury: Valentine, Richie and Joe!

If you want to have your party here in The National Reptile Zoo, with food provided by Burger King, please click here for more information.

If you wish to find our more about our ‘Zoo To You’ team for your Communion, Confirmation, Party or Event, click here! 

Nick at a birthday partye

Pictured above: Nick, an educator from NRZ at Fionn’s birthday party in his home last year!

You may have seen videos across our social media channels of Zoo Director, James, flying his Microlight plane to work. James spent last year training to get his pilots license and was featured in the Microlight Flying eNews in February too!

james flying article

You can watch the video of his flight here, can you spot the NRZ logo on the plane?

March is officially our birthday month and to celebrate turning 11 years old, we will be running special offers and events all month!

We’ll be announcing our March celebrations in the coming days!

celebration coming soon jpeg

The National Reptile Zoo Team

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