Live Exhibits

American Alligator

Alligator mississipiensis

  • Size: Adult males can reach up to 12 ft; females, up to 10 ft and can weigh 400 to 1000 lbs.
  • Habitat: Found in both man-made and freshwater lakes; ponds, rivers and wetland areas.
  • Lifespan: 30-35 years in a natural habitat.
  • Diet: Feeds on fishes, turtles, mammals, snakes, birds and even other alligators.
  • Unlike other reptiles, female alligators will protect her young for up to 2 years after hatching. The first 2 years are the most critical in the life of an alligator. 80% or more may fall victim to wading birds, raccoons, bobcats, otters, snakes, large bass and even other alligators.

Eastern Box Turtle

Terrapene carolina carolina

  • Size: Small to medium sized turtles reaching a maximum length of 8 inches.
  • Habitat: Eastern Box turtles inhabit a wide variety of habitats from wooded swamps to dry, grassy fields; however, they are most abundant and healthy in moist forested areas with plenty of underbrush.
  • Lifespan: Commonly reach 25 to 30 years of age, but have been documented as old as 50 years.
  • Diet: Eastern Box turtles will eat almost anything, animal or plant, they can fit in their mouths; however, insects, fruits, berries, vegetables and even carrion are most common. Interestingly, box turtles are even able to eat many mushrooms that are toxic to humans.

Red Eared Slider

Trachemys scripta elegans

  • Size: Red Eared Sliders average in length from 5 to 8 inches. The male is usually smaller with a much thicker and longer tail.
  • Habitat: Most freshwater systems such as lakes, streams, swamps, ponds and rivers. They prefer the quiet waters of marshes, sluggish waters and ponds that have soft bottoms with numerous basking sites and abundant vegetation.
  • Lifespan: Can live as long as 20 years in a natural environment.
  • Diet: Young sliders tend to be more carnivorous than adults, eating aquatic snails, tadpoles, crawfish, fish, crustaceans and mollusks. As they age, the diet will consist of mostly vegetation.

Corn Snake

Elaphe guttata guttata

  • Size: Corn snakes can reach lengths of up to 5 feet.
  • Habitat: Prefer overgrown fields, forest openings, trees, palmetto flatwoods and farms.
  • Lifespan: Corn snakes can live up to 10 years.
  • Diet: Consists mostly of rodents such as mice and rats. Prey is killed by constriction. They are also proficient climbers and will climb trees in search of birds and bird eggs.
  • So named because of the maize-like pattern on their body. Also known as a red rat snake.