Animals Blog

Reptile Awareness Day Friday 21st October – Free Talk at 12 noon in the Tropical House

Reptile Awareness Day Friday 21st October – Free Talk at 12 noon in the Tropical House

As part of Reptile Awareness Day 21st October we invite you to visit the Tropical House at Fota Wildlife Park and learn more about the reptile species there, some of whom are endangered such as the Elongated Tortoise and Jamaican Boas, during a special talk given by Warden Julien Fonteneau (12 noon Fri 21st Oct, included free with general admission/entrance fee).

The Tropical House includes the below species of reptiles:

The Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) is in great demand in Asian food markets. Consequently, this animal is in serious trouble in the wild with conservation laws not being adequately enforced. Elongated tortoises are crepuscular, meaning that they are active in the twilight hours before dawn or after sunset. The animals’ large eyes are well-adapted to low levels of light. While their carapaces, or top shells, are somewhat elongated – as their name suggests – female elongated tortoises are generally wider and more rounded than males.

The Jamaican Boa (Epicrates subflavus) is the largest non-venomous snake found on the island of Jamaica and is only found there.  This boa can attain lengths of 8 feet. Jamaican boa males are larger than females. In the wild, they are found in limestone forest, rock crevices, caves, and trees.  Their natural prey includes introduced rodents and native bats and birds. It is a constrictor and immobilizes or kills its prey by squeezing it in its powerful coils and then, like most snakes, swallows it whole. They have a unique behavior.  This boa is known to hang by their tail from the roofs of caves waiting for bats to fly by, at which point they grab a bat from the air to eat.

Non-venomous Dumeril's Boas (Boa dumerili) occur only on the island of Madagascar, one of the world's biggest islands, located in the Indian Ocean to the east of Africa. They belong to the family of snakes Boidae, which contains the world's largest snake species, including pythons, boas and anacondas. Like other boas and pythons, Dumeril's Boas can lay virtually motionless for long periods of time, waiting for an unwary prey animal to pass.

Other reptile species at Fota Wildlife Park include the Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) and Redfooted Tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria).

Come to the Tropical House at Fota Wildlife Park for a free talk at 12 noon this Friday 21st October for Reptile Awareness Day 2016 (inlcuded free with general admission/entrance fee).