Late January just wasn't the same this year. Normally, that's when we look forward to seeing Tyler and all of his animals from Reptile Adventures at the Canyon County Kids Expo. If you missed seeing Beast, Eugene and the tortoises too, there's a new place for you to visit them! 

We're so glad that Tyler tagged us in the post announcing the good news! Building a new zoo facility where he and his staff of volunteers could offer education opportunities for kids and families through interaction with animals living at his rescue has been a project that's been in the works for quite a while. They recently received the final permits they needed to officially open their doors at 10531 Overland Road in Boise.

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We love Idaho Reptile Zoo because not only is it a place where kids can learn that reptiles can be just as cute and interesting as other pets, but it's also a place where no reptile in need is turned away. They're able to do that by working closely with the Department of Agriculture and Idaho Fish and Game. The zoo is able to provide a safe home to reptiles who are considered invasive or illegal in Idaho.

For example, did you know that those adorable red-eared sliders you often see in pet stores are considered an invasive species in Idaho? Often, pet stores will tell you that if you keep them in the little aquarium they come with they'll stay the same size as they were as babies. That's not true and many pet owners find themselves frustrated when the turtles grow up to be quite a bit larger, poop so much that the filters can't keep up and eat all kinds of things. They get frustrated and decided to release them in Idaho's rivers and lakes.

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The only problem? Red-eared sliders aren't native to Idaho. They're really adaptable no matter where in the country they get dumped off. These turtles are hearty enough to survive our winters and eventually start to eat turtles native to the Gem State out of house and home. The Idaho Reptile Zoo is one of the places that can legally take them in, give them a good home and keep them from wiping out pond turtles in our ecosystem.

That's just one of the cool things you'll learn about reptiles at the zoo (while getting the opportunity to feed the turtles!) Tyler and his team are excited to tell you more stories like how they discovered that their alligator "Douglas" was actually a female and why Beast, their blue tegu, had to rock sweaters and shirts for a little while after one of his first events.

Want to meet the reptiles for yourself? Their hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Adults are $9, kids, seniors and first responders are $6 and kids 5 and under are free! That admission price includes getting to feed the turtles in the turtle pond, getting to pet the animals and getting in with the tortoises.

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