Cold-Blooded Creatures Featured At San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is showing off creatures of the cold-blooded kind to the public through Sunday. Love them or hate them, reptiles are the featured animals at the zoo for "Reptilemania."
It’s part of the zoo's Discovery Days where kids and adults learn about the homes and habits of reptiles and some amphibians. Zookeepers hold public feedings, pettings and Q & A sessions.
Animal ambassadors of the scaly variety are on hand throughout the day to educate visitors -- some even get a chance to touch the reptiles.
San Diego Zoo ambassador Rick Schwartz said parents often shy away from touching reptiles, but children are usually fascinated. He said people need to respect animals, like rattlesnakes, and not fear them since they are a vital part of the local ecosystem.
Events like Reptilemania help people see the importance of protecting wild animals and learning about the ones that live locally, he said.
"Some people have their own lack of knowledge maybe or not certain about what to expect with a reptile. We get that education out there and once that education's out there, they get to know more about the species,” he said. “That's when the compassion comes out and that's when we start talking about conservation, which is very important to us."
Schwartz’s favorite reptiles at the zoo are the Chinese Alligators, because they are very small, and Galapagos Tortoises, because he spent some time on the Galapagos Islands.