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 ensuing and last part of Reptile Exhibition 2017 at Tierpark Gettorf – Part 2 .
Here you can find the original report written by Philipp Kirchhoff and his Terrarienkreis Kiel team (TTK):
Day 5 - Tuesday
Today the weather brought us a cold wind, but fortunately it was dry and sunny. The first things we did were to change the night lighting to day lighting (in the night room it was exactly the other way round).
Fortunately we had attached switches and at least two sockets to the terrariums this year. This way the tedious bulb change was no longer necessary and we only had to operate the switch. Thanks to the JBL ceramic lamps the temperatures in the terrariums stayed snugly warm, even during the cold nights.
After we had changed the water in all the bowls and adapted the air humidity with a sprayer, it was time for the “big feed”. The praying mantis “Gottfried” got its claws on a decent feast, as did the other insectivorous animals. Altogether we had a relaxing day which gave us, after the busy Easter weekend, the opportunity to refuel with new energy and food.
Day 6 - Wednesday
Today the day started with a lot of visitors who immediately started asking curious questions and watched with interest how we made our morning rounds. The weather tempted us with sunshine so we didn’t start to install the ballasts plus lamps, which were sponsored by JBL, before the early afternoon. The bearded dragons were very pleased with these new light and heat sources.
After that it was all go right through until the early evening. A lot of visitors were fascinated by the discarded tarantula skins which some of the members had brought along. Our first educational work here was to explain that this was only skin and not dead spiders. This probably shocked one or two visitors who discovered that they didn’t have large dead spiders lying in their cellars, just their skins ;-)
This proved once again that our exhibition is the right platform for sharing such knowledge (all spiders molt in order to grow).
Day 7 - Thursday
Today the day started with rain. But this didn’t prevent various pre-school groups from paying the Animal Park in Gettorf a visit. At 11 o’clock sharp the little ”explorers” sat side by side and waited in suspense for what was for some of them their first encounter with a snake.
We introduced our gray-banded kingsnake „Don“ and then tested the children on snakes: “Why do snakes flick their tongue?”, “Why do they shed their skin?” and “How do they move?”. Once these and other questions had been answered they were allowed to touch Don. They quickly agreed that a snake is not wet and slippery but that it feels warm and good, too. They took a lot of photos and afterwards “Noodles”, the bearded dragon, had her great turn. This animal also thrilled the children with her appearance and the realisation that the “spines” don’t prick at all. Walter, the blue-tongued skink, took his well-deserved trip home and was replaced by Dörte.
The stream of visitors was spread comfortably for the TKK members and the animals so that we could refuel our energy for the exhibition’s final spurt.
Day 8 – Friday
This year’s weather is a major theme (as you have probably noticed). It’s hardly believable, but it is much better today and we even saw the sun for protracted periods. It was time to display the night room animals. Taking pictures in the dark was quite difficult, so the pictures were taken with lights switched on - we hope you’ll excuse us.
All in all this was a quiet day, despite the obviously better weather. The exhibition is slowly heading towards its end and tomorrow we’re hoping for a beautiful last day of this year’s Easter exhibition.
Day 9 – Saturday
Around 10 o’clock the first TKK members were on-site and now and then they continued to arrive until the early afternoon. For the last day of this year’s Easter exhibition we gave our all, but unfortunately the weather let us down today. There were not many visitors in the animal park. Around 4:30 pm we slowly started to disassemble the night room.
The animals, which had come with their homes, were moved into the Paradise Hall for a short time, where they could be admired. The others were put into transport boxes (polystyrene boxes) to wait for their transport.
At 6 p.m. there was again a cosy meet-up in the animal park’s café-restaurant. The fantastic but very strenuous week was beginning to take its toll. Then we went dismantling the equipment in the Tropical Hall and the Paradise Hall.
There was a bit of a kerfuffle because chimpanzee Chico didn’t want to be locked in. But our terrariums are stored near the chimpanzees and we can only start on those when all three chimpanzees are locked away. Then suddenly it was over (did Chico feel sorry for us?).
After the animals had been taken out of the terrariums, we started with the decoration, feeding and drinking dishes, the branches and the substrates. We also took off the panes to pack them. We tucked away quite a few metres of extension cable and expensive terrarium lamps. Then we transported the terrarium with large wheelbarrows and a lot of elbow grease into the storage room. One thing's for sure: we had to walk quite a lot of kilometres during the dismantling. Again, we were completely in the grip of the well-organised chaos. At 9 p.m. the halls and rooms of the animal park were free of Snakes & Co. The animals were stowed in the cars and returned home. All our members were relieved to have their pets back in their usual places at home.
As in previous years we counted the exhibition a success because of our close contact to the exhibition visitors, our cooperation with the Tierpark Gettorf and its supporting association, as well as with our sponsor JBL. We are looking forward to our next small scale exhibition at Halloween.