Marcel is a really colourful character! Chameleons change their colour using special pigment cells which lie in layers under their outer skin in response to the temperature, light, and their mood, for instance if they want to warn off a rival.
BRUCE (White’s Tree Frog)
In the wild they live in the Australian rainforest – however due to the loss of their natural environment they are now found in residential areas. Also known as Dumpy Tree Frogs.
HARRY (Fancy Rat)
A really lovable, confident rat who loves to sit on your knee or climb up onto your shoulder. Here you can see him helping himself to his favourite treat – a malted shreddie. He does not bite or scratch and is interested in everything. He’s a lot of fun and not at all like a wild rat.
Our cuddly chinchilla Pepper has a very laid-back personality and might just doze off on your knee. These soft-furred rodents live on the barren, rocky slopes of the Andes mountains of South America. They don’t burrow, but live in rock crevices or holes. Their dense, soft fur keeps them war and their hairless feet can grip rocky surfaces.
Eric and his girlfriend Erica (Horsefield Tortoises)
This species of tortoise can be found in the Russian Steppes and in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They have tough front claws which enable them to burrow and climb, and have a life expectancy of around 80 years.
STEVE (Giant African Snail)
Our snail is just a youngster and is likely to live for around 9 years. As a hermaphrodite, Steve can be a boy AND a girl!
MORRIS (Giant African Millipede)
As its name suggests these can grow up to 1,000 legs! The children love to try counting them up and to see its “Mexican Wave” walk.
ESMERELDA (Hissing Cockroach)
These have a bad image, but once the children realise they don’t bite, are very clean little creatures and are completely safe to touch and handle they quickly become a favourite.
IGGY and POP (Stick Insects)
They really do look like sticks and will even wave just like a stick in the wind. These are fascinating creatures and are great examples of natural camouflage.
These are found all over the UK and are classified as lizards, they even look like snakes, because they have eyelids. They are a beautiful silver/gold colour and can be found in many parts of the UK under stones or logs in damp grass. They do not move very far – hence the word ‘slow’.
GABBY (Arizona Banded Gecko)
This is a real cutie – very placid and more than happy to be held. This delicate-looking lizard is actually capable of living in some of the most harsh environments including high desert plateaus. It can cast off its tail to escape from a predator and then grow a new one.
Boris is a real cutie, but don’t worry – if you don’t like spiders you don’t have to meet him! Boris is handled by the ranger only just in case he gets excited and has a nip, but the audience can see his impressive fangs close up.
Dotty is a gentle character with a bit of a wiggly bum! She stores fat in her tail in case food is in short supply. In the wild she would live in the African desert so is a real star at our school ‘Africa’ workshops.
Our pair of lively, curious bearded dragons are a pleasure to meet. They are very happy to be cuddled and are a great example of a lizard which is adapted to a desert habitat. They come from Down Under and always feature in our school ‘Australia’ workshops.
CRUSHER and MONTY (Royal Pythons)
Also known as a Ball Python, our two male Royal Pythons are very easy going and very relaxed about being held and stroked. These snakes are called Royal Pythons because some ancient rulers used to wear them as jewellery!
These great looking characters from Asia look just like dinosaurs – with frills and tails and the deep green of jungle foliage. These guys love a cuddle and will sit on your hand for ages. We have named them after those famous dragons in Game of Thrones.
This little character is around 7cm long and are always very popular with children. They will cling to your hand with their tiny suckered feet. Watch closely and you may see them lick their eyeballs to keep them clean – they need to do this because they don’t have eyelids.
MAISIE (Corn Snake)
These non-venomous snakes are native to North America and are a species of Rat Snake. They are inquisitive and quite fast-moving, so are great to watch when they explore their surroundings.
WALTER and STANLEY (Fire Bellied Toads)
Stanley and Walter are our Oriental fire bellied toads, which are native to southern and south eastern Asia. They have a brightly coloured underside which they display to warn predators that they are not good to eat!
TOFFEE (Guinea Pig)
Toffee loves nothing more than a cuddle – he’s such a softy and a great member of our animal family.
LUCY (Long-tailed Lizard)
Little Lucy has an amazing 30cm tail which comes in handy in her natural grassland habitat. She uses her tail as an anchor to allow her to ‘float’ across tufts of coarse grass hunting for insects.
STUART (Stuart’s Milk Snake)
Like all of the snakes we have, the milk snake is not poisonous or harmful to humans. It is native to Central America and got its name because it was often found in cattle sheds where it was once thought to feed on cow’s milk – in fact it eats small rodents.
Corn snakes are harmless and ours are very relaxed about being handled – although they may try to sneak into your pocket! You can see why our beautiful female Tango was named after the orange drink.
These little lizards live in a desert habitat where their fat tails help them store food for when times are tough. Florence is very calm and is happy to sit on your hand so you can admire her beautiful camouflage stripes.