Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oslo Reptilpark

Have I ever mentioned that there is a zoo here in Oslo? I mean, to those of you who aren't from around here and don't already know it. :-) Well, there is ... but rather a small and modest one. IMO it's kind of a disgrace that we don't have anything more than that, considering that this is the capital. And also, considering that this is a very important harbor in this country, and has been for many centuries, and on top of that is being profiled as the 'fjord city', it's a disgrace that we don't have an aquarium. I mean, they have one in Ålesund, for pete's sake. We really ought to have one in Oslo. But now that the harbor's being redone we're supposed to be getting one. That whole area will look completely different in five years' time ... and one of the changes is that they're going to build an Oslo Aquarium. So, fingers crossed. :-) But where was I ...

OK, we have a zoo. And for me it's the best kind of zoo we could have - a reptile park. :-D I'm always interested in the reptile sections in any zoo I visit ... partly because I'm into reptiles personally, and partly because reptiles are among the easiest animals to care for in captivity. They have low intelligence and specific physical requirements. Ie, they need such and such types and amounts of food, a certain temperature, access to things like water to swim in, branches to climb or sand or earth to dig in, etc ... and they don't need to be intellectually challenged like birds and many mammals. So when zoos have reptiles, they are very often animals that are well cared for and comfortable in their habitat. That's a big reason why I enjoy seeing them ... unlike big mammals and large birds, for instance; they are often frustrated by captivity. But reptiles are generally too stupid to care. :-D

This afternoon I went to the reptile park with my secret cousin's eldest daughters and a friend of theirs - they're visiting my parents during their fall break. And what a surprise, my mother didn't want to take them to a place with snakes ... actually a very good thing that she wasn't with us, because we got to hold one of the snakes, and I think my mother would have passed out before it got to be her turn. ;-) In today's post I will share the best pictures I took today.

To find out more about Oslo Reptilpark, visit their website here. They have almost 80 animals on exhibit - snakes, turtles, lizards, insects, frogs, toads, fish, a caiman and even a macaw parrot. :-) They're open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am-6pm; during the summer they're open on Mondays as well. On Tuesdays at 5pm they feed the animals, and you can watch. If you ask nicely you may be allowed to handle some of the animals. Definitely make a stop here if & when you are in Oslo. :-)

One of five tiny green anoles that share their enclosure with Brutus the caiman and the alligator snapper.

A green snake. I didn't think to check what species it was. Snakes aren't my thing. But this one was very pretty. :-)

Two Fiji banded iguanas, Brachylophus fasciatus. The one to the left is almost done shedding its skin, look. :-)

A Mata mata turtle, Chelus fimbriatus. The world's weirdest-looking turtle? I was psyched to see this little critter, I'd never seen one of them in the flesh before and I didn't even know they had it. :-D Sorry about the poor quality of the picture, but it was through glass and water, so it was kind of tricky.

Junior the greenwing macaw, Ara chloropterus.

A Chilean rose, Grammostola rosea.

One Tokay gecko hanging on the wall ... (Gekko gecko, sticky fingers. :-)

A black widow, some Latrodectus species. It is there, look closely in the center of the picture.

Me holding a ball python, Python regius, and the girls slightly shocked in the background. They were all brave enough to hold it though. :-)

Snake poop! :-D

African land snails, some Achatina species or other. These can grow to 20 centimeters (8 inches) in length. OMG squash them squash them!!!1

Some totally adorable little lizards. Really small and so cute piled up like this. :-)

Alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, trying to catch some dinner with its baited tongue. Alas, no luck.

A bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps. They have three of these on display currently ... I took pictures of all of them, but this one posed the best. :-) I'm really happy with this shot, especially considering that it's taken through glass.

Charlie the green iguana, Iguana iguana. Also through glass. Pretty good if I do say so myself. :-)

Tigergutt the Indian rock python, Python molurus biuittatus. He's an albino specimen, obviously. Yuck, albino reptiles creep me out. Sorry, but these things aren't meant to live, knock 'em on the head and get it over with. His name may seem weird, it means 'tiger boy', but it's AA Milne's character Tigger's name in Norwegian, and this species of snake is called tiger python in Norwegian. So that's how he got his name. Doesn't make him any less creepy though. But he is actually AFAIK the largest python in this country. o_O He is going on four meters in length now ... of course that's not very big, since this species can get up to six meters, but on the other hand he is only 12 years old, and could well live to be 100 ... so he still has some time to grow. :-) But of course in the jungle this freak wouldn't have lasted a week. >:-)

I'm making a couple of videos from the visit as well, they'll be coming up later at some point. :-) And you can see the rest of my photos (except the really shitty ones ;-) here.


AudiX78 said...

OOOOh you saw Dina's relative :-) nice :-) was that hte only tarantula you saw? I thought thay had many? but maybe you're not that into spiders ...

Leisha Camden said...

No, they do have several ... we saw at least five or six of them. But I didn't post any other photos because all the other spider photos I took today totally suck. :-D

Leisha Camden said...

Many-legged blurs ... ;-)

Paz said...

cool that ye can go and feed the animals, some great shots, pity that the spiders wouldn't pose for their photo's