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Our Reptile House is home to an amazing variety of crucially important species of invertebrates

From fish and frogs to snakes and tarantulas and a few insect species in between, our range of amazing invertebrates will keep you captivated. Come to one of our inspiring animal carer talks to find out which of our invertebrates has more hairs than our largest mammal, Casper!

Giant African Land Snail

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Invertebrate

These gastropods take life at a gentle pace! They perform a vital role as one of nature’s recyclers.

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Tarantula

The Sanctuary has two Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula, which came to us from the RSPCA rehoming centre.

Malagasy Hissing Cockroach

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Invertebrate

These insects are armoured little individuals which recycle leaf litter and other waste from the forest floor, making the nutrients accessible for further plant growth. They have an effective deterrent warning sound which sounds just like a snake’s hiss …come and listen!

Macleay’s spectre

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Invertebrates

Macleay’s spectre is a large species of Australian Stick insect, endemic to the rainforests in Australia. Around the globe, insects are vital for pollination, recycling and as a food source and without them, life on earth would crumble. Come and meet our vibrantly-coloured masters of disguise and be amazed at their beauty.

Zuri, Biter, Houdini & Hogan

Royal Python

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Royal Python

The Royal Python, is native to West and Central Africa, where it lives in grasslands, shrublands and open forests. This nonvenomous constrictor is the smallest of the African pythons, growing to a maximum length of 182 cm. Donated by private sponsors, Biter and Zuri are helping us to engage public interest and promote positivity and responsible pet care.

Mr. Hiss

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Corn Snake

Mr. Hiss is a Corn snake and sadly was an unwanted pet who came to us via a rescue centre. Along with our pythons, Mr Hiss helps our public engage with responsible pet care and ownership. Corn snakes are found in grassland areas throughout central and south-east America.

Missy

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Species: Madagascan Day Gecko

This tree-dwelling species lives in tropical areas and feeds on insects and nectar. This species is found in Madagascar and nearby islands.

Lucy & Njala

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Species: Standing’s Day Gecko

sweet little animals communicate by body posture a range of squeaks, clicks and croaks very similar to that of frogs. They are around 8-10 years old. This species is found only in south-west Madagascar.

Rocco & Matteo

rocco the tortoise

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Species: Spur-thighed Tortoise

Rocco is, according to the Animal Care Team, the fastest tortoise in the world! He is definitely in love with our female. Found in Greece and the Mediterranean.

White’s Tree Frog

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: White’s Tree Frog

This Australasian species of frog defies popular conception by living, as the name suggests, not in water but in trees.

Our Koi

fish

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Fish, Koi

We have a charming group of Koi here at the Sanctuary including Flip, Flap & Flop! They were formerly pets and came to us from a private owner, thanks to generous corporate sponsorship which enabled us to build a new pond for them. Our shimmering water-babies really enjoy interacting with those members of our visiting public who choose to buy our specially formulated fish food with which to hand feed them.

Dark Fury

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Rankins Dragon

Our Rankins Dragon, Dark Fury, came to us from Northumberland Zoo.

Sociable and docile, Rankins Dragons are endemic to Queensland, Australia. A sub-species of the more familiar bearded dragons, they share many of the same characteristics and behaviors like head bobbing and arm waving. They have a lifespan of about 8 years and are omnivorous feeding on insects and plants.

She enjoys climbing on branches but also enjoys a runaround.   You may occasionally see Dark Fury having a run in the tortoise enclosure for a bit of exercise and enrichment.

Jafar & Sial

reptile

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Leopard Gecko

We have two, Jafar & Sial. Sial is a pink colour morph.

Native to dry semi-desert areas of the middle East and Northwest India, leopard geckos get their name from the natural coloration of yellow with irregular black spots.  Due to their popularity as pets, they are often selectively bred in captivity, to produce other colours. Our male leopard gecko ‘Jafar’ is a traditional leopard colour, and our female ‘Sial’ is a pink colour morph. Leopard geckos are mainly nocturnal and spend most of their day hiding under their favorite rock or log, so it is unlikely you will see them unless being handled by our animal carers in the daily reptile encounter sessions.

 They eat a range of insects and can live for between 15 to 20 years.  Their tails are segmented which allows them to regenerate if they lose part of it fleeing from danger. 

They have large appealing eyes which they can clean with their tongue and unlike many other geckos, they have eyelids enabling them to close their eyes.  

Zeus

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Species: Inland (aka Central) Bearded dragon

Zeus is a 3 year old male bearded dragon. He was a pet that needed a forever home when his old owners were no longer able to care for him, so he arrived at the Sanctuary in 2023. Bearded dragons have an average lifespan of 10-15 years under human care, so are a long-term commitment. 

Bearded dragons are omnivores, so Zeus is fed a variety of vegetation as well as insects and he has a very healthy appetite! Zeus is also quite speedy, as bearded dragons can reach speeds of up to 9mph, so we have to keep a close eye on him when he’s out for exercise! 

Endemic to Australia, bearded dragons are semi-arboreal (good at climbing and like to bask up high) but also use burrows to hide / cool down / lay their eggs. Males are solitary animals that will fight each other, whereas females can be more social.

Bearded dragons rely on their expressive body language and posturing to communicate, including waving (a sign of submission) and head bobbing (either flirting or dominance depending on who it’s directed at!).