The Herpetarium at the Gladys Porter Zoo is getting a makeover. Thanks to the generosity of many Zoofari 2016 attendees who contributed to the event’s Fund-A-Need campaign, the building will be getting some exciting updates. Renovations include removing the tiled barrier that bisected the main tour route through the Herpetarium and replacing it with new life-scape trees. These additions, which will not constrict the flow of traffic as did the previous wall structure, are designed to complement the exotic ambiance of the building without detracting from the striking creatures on exhibit.
The large display in the center of the Herpetarium will become a new home to the eye-catching, semi-aquatic caiman lizard. The exhibit will feature an all-new front design with larger windows framed in realistic-looking tree limbs and buttresses.
In addition to the centralized caiman lizard exhibit, some of the displays will be rebuilt with larger dimensions and distinctive designs. This includes a new 8’x 4’ x 5’exhibit for the Zoo’s rare Mangshan vipers. Hailing from the thickly forested mountains of China, this large, ornately patterned, arboreal snake requires a substantial reduction in ambient temperature in order to cycle for breeding. Accordingly, the new habitat will come complete with a misting and cooling system to accommodate their needs.
Despite the presence of craftsmen in the building, the Herpetarium is expected to remain open during regular hours for the three-to-five-month renovation period. While access to the construction area will be restricted, visitors will be routed to enter through the exit doors and will be able to view a large number of the reptile and amphibian residents within.