Pocomoke City Discovers Reptiles Alive!

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Last Saturday morning, March 20th, I packed up the Reptiles Alive van full of great animals including Sunshine the python, Logan the Nile monitor lizard, and B.A. the alligator.  We  drove across the Chesapeake Bay down to Pocomoke City, MD – home to the Delmarva Discovery Center.

Pocomoke is a historic Eastern Shore town located right on the Pocomoke River. Last year, the awesome new Delmarva Discovery Center (DDC) opened to the public. The DDC features exhibits that tell the story of the Delmarva’s natural and cultural history.
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As we set up and got ready, we had a huge crowd excitedly waiting to see the first show.
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We started each of the three shows that day with a couple of animals native to the Eastern Shore: Lucky our black rat snake and T Rex the snapping turtle.100_1325

Then we featured an animal from the other side of our planet: the Australian blue tongue skink, Mystique. Next, we learned why we should all be really grateful there are no mommy pizzas when we met Logan the Nile monitor lizard.
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The alligator B.A. (which stands for “Bad Attitude” helped us learn alligator love songs. Last but definitely not least, we met Sunshine, our albino Burmese python. The audience, as usual, went wild for Sunshine.

Big thanks go to the Delmarva Discovery Center for hosting this fun reptile festival. We are hoping to make this an annual event, so start planning your trip to Pocomoke City for next year.

Exciting New Job for Jennifer Rafter

Posting by Caroline Seitz

Jennifer Rafter was one of the first staff members of Reptiles Alive.  She started in 1999 and has been an important part of our team ever since.  Caring for our animals, rehabilitating injured wildlife, and presenting awesome live animal shows were all part of her contribution here.

Jennifer has moved on from Reptiles Alive to become the Aquarium Curator at the Delmarva Discovery Center. It is a brand new museum in Pocomoke MD that showcases the culture and natural history of the Delmarva Peninsula with a focus on the Pocomoke River.

I had the chance to visit Jen at her new job last week – and I am SO EXCITED for her.  The Discovery Center is fabulous.  The cultural exhibits are up and they are very good.  Children and adults will enjoy the various interactive displays and hands-on activities the center offers.  But the best is soon to come…

A 7,000 gallon aquarium was just installed and Jen is spending all her time getting it sealed, plumbed, and working.  It takes A LOT of work to get an aquarium of that size up and running.  It took almost 12 hours just to the aquarium through the Center’s doors and installed in the display area!

The Pocomoke City Fire Department was called to fill the aquarium for its first water test.  After the test, the tank was drained so that concrete features such as fallen trees and branches can be added.  After the plumbing and concrete work is done, the fire department will re-fill the aquarium.

Jen will then spend time cycling the water to prepare it for the fish.  Live bass, catfish and other fish found in the Pocomoke River will be featured in the aquarium, but the star attraction will be the sturgeon.

In addition to the large aquarium, the Discovery Center also has touch tanks that allow visitors to touch animals such as snails, horseshoe crabs and more.  Jen will also be adding live reptile and amphibian displays.

Special events such as a Haunted Halloween tour, lectures, art classes and other fun activities are offered at the Center.  Activities adjacent to the Center include a special Pocomoke River boat cruise tour, a boardwalk trail through a naturally occurring cypress swamp, and shopping at art galleries and boutiques in the beautiful town of Pocomoke.  Of course you can also visit Chincoteague, VA, Ocean City, MD and Assateague National Seashore which are all about 30 minutes away.

I am sad to see her go – but I am so excited for her too!  Jen’s new home and new job are really awesome and I know she is going to have a great time.  I urge anyone who visits the Eastern Shore to visit the Delmarva Discovery Center and say hello to Jen.

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