Spiders, snakes, lizards and many other reptiles and amphibians are often portrayed negatively in the media – but they are still popular pets and even children regard them with interest and fascination. In this post you will find the next part of Reptile Exhibition 2017 at Tierpark Gettorf – Part 1 .
Here you can find the original report written by Philipp Kirchhoff and his Terrarienkreis Kiel team (TTK):
Day 2 - Saturday
Between 9 and 10 o’clock the TKK members, still tired but highly motivated, began to arrive at the animal park. The weather was stuck at stormy and rainy – typically north German. But this can’t prevent us from doing our work with fun and joy.
The animals had a good first night in their temporarily home. Of course, the various JBL substrates, lamps and accessories helped a great deal. I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank all our long-term sponsors. At our request the Tierpark Gettorf pumped up the heating in both halls, since the weather is continuing to give us the cold shoulder. Our boa constrictor Odin relieved itself in the Tropical Hall this morning and is now very relaxed. This is a good omen!
We thought our peacock day gecko, Franzl, had gone for good, but he finally put in a brief appearance. Better than nothing. There was a lot of human-animal interaction in the Paradise Hall with bearded dragons, corn snakes, Honduran milk snakes and the blue-tongued skink Walter. All visitors, young and old, were thrilled.
Interestingly the kids often were much more courageous than their parent or grandparents. The latter usually then followed suit and discovered for instance that the snakes were not at all slippery and were quite pleasant to touch.
Right from the start we were doubly lucky with our tarantulas, since both Lara and Isolde were in a very good mood when removed from the terrarium and allowed the visitors to go up very close. The Saturday before Easter Sunday is usually relatively quiet and was this year too. As a result we had the opportunity for more intensive one to one talks which were greatly appreciated by the visitors. By the end of the second day we were beginning to feel the strain, because planning and implementing an exhibition like this takes a great deal of energy. But the fun we have makes it worth it.
Day 3 – Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday in Tierpark Gettorf: 10 o’clock and again the weather was wet and cool but this didn’t damper our spirits.
During the morning check we were pleased to see that our animals and their owners were all comfortable. Due to the changeable weather - yes, there was a bit of sunshine now and then - the temperatures varied especially in the Paradise Hall. As soon as the sun shone on the roof you felt like you were in a greenhouse.
On Easter Sunday, the traditional Easter Bunny visited us and our pets. Unlike other rabbits, the Easter Bunny was not afraid of Odin, our big boa constrictor. Okay, perhaps it was a bit too large for Odin and that’s why it felt so safe. On this occasion I would like to mention that we at TKK leave no stone unturned to involve our family members, friends and colleagues. We are not quite missionaries, but we want to overcome their fears and prejudices and to share our hobby with other people. We are very often successful, as we notice every year.
And so we were able to welcome a new member this weekend, and they, of course, had to hold a spider in their hand.
There was a nice moment when a corn snake, a foster animal, found a new home. I would like to take this opportunity to mention that the JBL pond brochure is really popular. We can’t unpack it fast enough. And the kids also love this year’s colourful sticker from JBL. What strikes us in particular is the kid’s thirst for knowledge. They sometimes come with very good prior knowledge and they almost had us now and then with their skilled questions - but only almost. We can look back with satisfaction at the first of the two Easter bank holidays.
Day 4 – Easter Monday
Easter Monday: Starting at 12 o’clock we had the first press event of this year’s exhibition. Bente, one of our youngest members, effortlessly provided the reporter from the KN (Kieler Nachrichten) with information, until our Chair arrived.
At the same time Laura, our Mexican flame knee tarantula, had a very special date: A female visitor made a deal with her grandson: If she dared to put a tarantula on her hand, he would learn to swim. As you can see on kn-online she kept her promise and now it remains to be seen when he will fulfil the pact. We love stories like this.
In the Tropical Hall Odin and Freya, our big snakes, were the audience’s favourites. Freya and her owner Tina soon had a photo session with the Kieler Nachrichten. Even our association chairman Philipp showed his best side with one of our ball pythons.
We noticed during the first three days that the visitors were coming intermittently instead of continuously as in the years before. The reason: the very wet weather. During some heavy showers there was no option but to run into one of the two halls to stay dry. Unfortunately we were not able to present the animals close up to them then, as large crowds of visitors would have been too stressful for them. We always waited a bit until the situation had calmed down again. As soon as we could we were happy to oblige anyone wanting to come in close contact to the animals. For us it’s always clear: The animals and their well-being always have priority.
In the late afternoon even Isolde, our Mexican red knee tarantula, came out of her cave. Totally relaxed, she gave a few visitors some unforgettable moments.
On Easter Monday the huge interest in our animals was sustained until closing-time. We gladly satisfied the wishes of the visitors as far as we could. Thus Day Four ended with satisfied visitors, members and animals.