The Largest Reptile Zoo In The World Is Right Here In South Dakota And You Need To Visit
We all know that Mount Rushmore is the most popular attraction in the state, with South Dakota being named Mount Rushmore state and all. Some people tend to overlook this attraction that’s right near Mount Rushmore but offers hands-on activities with animals, beautiful flowers, and so much more. This animal park isn’t just a top attraction in our state, but it’s the biggest park of its kind in the whole world, and you need to visit soon.
Welcome to Reptile Gardens: The Largest Reptile Zoo in the world.
Reptile Gardens holds a title in the Guinness Book of World Records and it's full of so much fun.
Reptile Gardens has gone through quite the history to get to where it is today.
The zoo began after Earl Brockelsby, who was 19-years-old at the time and working at a local Rapid City establishment as a tour guide, realized just how much people enjoyed reptiles. Loving reptiles himself, he often finished off his tours by revealing a real rattlesnake under his hat. When all of the people around him reacted to the up close live snake, he decided these reactions were worth something and him and his friends built a small building and created their own displays of snakes.
In 1937, Reptile Gardens was officially established in the Black Hills.
The park experienced some hardships, though. In 1941, they were starting to gain profits. At the time, admission was 10 cents for adults and 5 cents for children! However, World Ward II slowed down traffic, and Earl and his friends joined the military. When the war ended, things picked up rapidly until the great Rapid City flood of 1972, and a fire in 1976 that ruined the upper dome.
Despite many hardships, the animal park has grown to be one of the top attractions in South Dakota.
It's not hard to see why; there's so much to do! Not only is this the world's largest reptile zoo, but it's set within a beautiful botanical garden so you'll get to walk among the flowers, stop and smell the roses, and then see some of the world's most interesting reptiles.
Every day there are snake shows, gator shows, and bird shows, which all let you discover more about these animals.
The snake show is exciting and features venomous and non-venomous snakes, while the alligator show is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The bird show will teach you about many different kinds of birds, and you'll even learn that owls really do turn their heads all the way around!
This is one of the only zoos where you can get up close and personal with animals.
Touch a giant turtle or hold a baby alligator for an experience unlike any other.
Even if you're not holding them, there are so many cool animals to see. From dangerous snakes, to exotic birds, turtles, frogs, and more, there's so much to see.
There's even a little prairie dog area where they'll pop out to say hello.
Their glass dome is home to many plants and animals. It might not be
Robert's Prairie Dog Town
, but you can still see these little guys up close.
From thrilling interactions to relaxing walks through the gardens, Reptile Gardens is the perfect attraction for the whole family.
You can find Reptile Gardens at 8955 S. Highway 16, Rapid City, SD.
Reptile Gardens is open 7 days a week in the summer starting at 8 a.m., with the last admittance at 5 p.m.
For even more information, you can check out their website
Have you been to this incredible reptile zoo? How was it? Let us hear all about it in the comments!
If you’re looking for more fun in South Dakota, check out
this life sized maze that you can get lost in.
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