Celebrate Reptile Day At Sunset Zoo

Celebrate Reptile Day from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 at Sunset Zoo. Reptile Day is a new event for Sunset Zoo, and it is designed to encourage people of all ages to learn more about reptiles.

"Some of the most frequently asked questions at the zoo are in reference to reptiles, At Sunset Zoo we have the opportunity not only to satisfy the public’s curiosity and fascination with reptiles, but we also have the opportunity to educate the public about situations that negatively impact reptiles, such as a rattlesnake roundup," said Schanee Anderson, curator of education.

Each of Sunset Zoo’s zoogeographic trails will feature "Wonderspot" stations run by volunteers, which will highlight the zoo’s education animal ambassadors from that region of the world. The African trail will feature ball pythons, the Australian trail will have a blue-tongued skink, the Kansas trail will showcase box turtles, tokays and leopard geckos will be featured on the Asian trail, and the South American trail will focus on boa constrictors and red-footed tortoises.

"Our goal for Reptile Day is to help foster a better understanding for these animals, with an emphasis on Kansas reptiles. Reptiles are some of the world’s most misunderstood creatures. People who arc a bit squeamish when it comes to reptiles could really benefit from this event. Guest speakers and animal ambassador programs will help individuals learn to distinguish between facts and fiction when it comes to the reptilian class, "said Melissa Miller, marketing/development officer.

The zoo will also feature three guest speakers in honor of Reptile Day. Mike Rochford, Joe and Susan Collins, and Dr. Eva Horne. Rochford, from the Kansas State University Herpetology (J-lerp) Club, will speak about dangerous reptiles at 1:30 p.m. in Chautauqua Amphitheater. At 3:00 p.m. in the zoo’s education building, Joe and Susan Collins will speak about the herpetofauna of Florida’s St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge. Dr. Home, from KSU’s biology department, will discuss Kansas reptiles, with an emphasis on reptiles found on the Konza Prairie, at 4:30 p.m. in Chautauqua Amphitheater.

Three Animal ambassador programs wifl be featured at 1:15 p.m., 2:15 pm., and 4:15 p.m. in Chautauqua Amphitheater.

Regular zoo admission will be charged for this event: $3.00 for adults and $1.50 for children 5-12 years of age. Children 4 years and younger are admitted free of charge. For additional information, please call Sunset Zoo at (785) 587-APES or check out the zoo’s web site at www.sunsetzoo.com. Sunset Zoo is home to 395 individual animals representing 82 species, and is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). Sunset Zoo currently participates in 12 AZA Species Survival Plans (SSP), and exhibits five AZA Population Management Plan (PMP) species. The zoo is the smallest zoo in the U.S. to administer an international conservation program: Conservation Action Partnership (CAP) Paraguay.