We are moving!

WE ARE MOVING!!!

So over the last year, we’ve been busy building much larger habitats for our animals in a new, much larger location in Hebron Business Park, Kilkenny. Over the coming weeks our doors in Gowran will be closed to public as we ready all our animals for the move.

We look forward to welcoming everyone to our new facility (with lots of new and exciting elements!) and will be opening our doors at 10am on Friday the 27th of December at The National Reptile Zoo, Hebron Business Park, Kilkenny City, R95 KF6V.

In the meantime, you can still contact us by phone or email.

Posted in News

Internship blog – Helena Pereira

My name is Helena Pereira, I’m 24 years old and I’m in the 6th year of Veterinary Medicine. I started my internship, here at The National Reptile Zoo, on September 1st 2019 and stayed here for 3 months.

My thesis is going to be about reptile management in zoos and clinics, so I thought that coming here all way from Portugal, would be a great place to learn and write about it.

The objective of this internship was also to gain experience regarding reptiles’ welfare, because in college we don’t have the chance to learn much about reptiles. I had the chance to participate in almost all the zookeeper’s tasks, except the ones that involve venomous snakes or other possibly dangerous animal. Thus, the things that I learned about and participated in were:

• Feedings: I learned about the diet for each animal (herbivores, insectivores and carnivores);

• Environmental enrichment: like adding scents and “furniture” that stimulate foraging and exercise. I also participated in the target training of some animals, like the Asian Water Monitors and Saltwater crocodile to promote their exercise while chasing food;

• Proper maintenance of the enclosures: which temperature is the most adequate for the animal, giving the proper humidity to the enclosure in order to avoid dehydration; frequent water changes to prevent bacterial diseases.

In addition to that, I also participated in some veterinary procedures like wound treatments, medications, control of sick animals, health check ups, physical exams, and morphometrics. This helped me a lot to gain some knowledge of reptile medicine and how to handle the animals.

All interns that stay in the zoo for more than one month are given a project to choose and present at the end of the internship. My project was about husbandry and the impact that it has on the health of reptiles, more specifically the main causes of intestinal obstruction. Thus, I analyzed all data records that the zoo has in a programme called “Reptile Scan” where all the information regarding nutrition, enrichment, enclosure maintenance, public encounters, weights, veterinary reports and medications of all animals that are and were in the zoo collection are documented. So, my project was focused on 3 animals, 2 Black and white Tegus and a Burmese Python. I learned a lot about husbandry management, one of the reasons that I came here in the first place! This project was a big accomplishment for me because I never had the chance to do my own case report, which could be useful in my curriculum. In addition to that I can use this important information in my thesis.

In conclusion, my experience here at The National Reptile Zoo was the perfect start for someone who wants to specialize in reptile medicine, like me! It is necessary to know first about their management and needs, like temperature, lighting, diet, humidity, proper enrichment and maintenance because in reptiles most of the diseases and health problems come from improper husbandry. Therefore it is necessary to understand their background after doing some kind of treatment. I also had the chance to be a part of a great and nice staff. Everyone here was willing to help me with all my doubts and improved my experience. Everyone was very patient with me trying to talk in English, which helped me a lot to develop my English!

Posted in Internship, News, Research

Thank you for your donations!

A huge thank you to all visitor donations which have contributed to funding the Gerry Martin Project to help tackle the venomous snakebite crisis in India.

India accounts for nearly half of the global 40,000 -50,000 deaths caused by snakebites every year and many more suffer from tissue damage or loss of limbs. The Gerry Martin Projects has been working on educating at-risk communities on avoiding and treating snakebites since 2013. This includes providing solar powered lanterns and gumboots to people working in fields and high-risk areas and informing farmers of the presence of snakes in their locality.

Their latest project focuses on studying the Russell’s viper which is responsible for the majority of snakebite deaths. A lack of national data makes it difficult to properly quantify numbers of people affected by bites. While not all bites are fatal, they can cause immense loss and suffering at the expense of people who cannot afford it. By attaching radio transmitters to these animals, this pioneering project tracks them daily noting the movement, behaviours, seasons and populations of Russell’s vipers.

By filling the knowledge gap of this species, the Gerry Martin Project hopes to understand the snake-human conflict, and reduce people and snakes coming across one another. The findings from this research will allow governments and organisations to design and implement more effective interventions, reducing snakebite victims and helping us to coexist with snakes and preventing these important animals from disappearing forever.

For more information and to get involved, please visit:

https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/help-mitigate-snakebite-in-agricultural-landscapes?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=fbpageshare&utm_campaign=help-mitigate-snakebite-in-agricultural-landscapes&utm_content=1bdf989e8831ae15c4cdec40ecb0c141&shby=1&fbclid=IwAR0-oPvFDL5gL3KhhBEGhc23AxtFjBGJfQ_JeWLifXlo_SzwaYC6Uyy_5Zk&payment=for m

Posted in News

Reptilian Roles in Space

Did you know that tortoise where the first animals to successfully orbit the moon?

Reptiles were some of the first animals to be sent outside of the earths orbit and so for World Space Week this year we will be exploring some of the ways our scaly friends have contributed to our knowledge of the universe. We will have lots of fun facts and information for all ages available all week with our interactive talks where we will showcase some of our fantastic reptiles, a Space trail where you can explore the vastness of our solar system alongside our reptilian wonders and some fun competitions with amazing prizes up for grabs!

This is an all day, week-long event from the 4th to the 10th of October.

Normal admission fees apply but all events are at no extra charge.

We hope to see you there!

Posted in News

Eggstravagant Easter Event

For our Eggstravagant Easter Event we will be showcasing some of our finest egg-laying reptiles with a chance to meet them, hold them and learn all about them every hour with one of our expert zookeepers. Of course we will also have an egg hunt running all weekend with lots of nice prizes up for grabs, our resident reptiles will be guarding the eggs in their habitats, so everyone can join in with trying to find them. The egg hunt and all interactive talks are also FREE, just pay the normal admission price which can be found on https://www.nationalreptilezoo.ie/visitor-info/opening-times-admission/

Posted in News