Zoo

The Zoo at Chehaw is home to 238 specimens representing over 125 different species. Enjoy natural, outdoor exhibits including Cheetahs, Black Rhinoceros’, Meerkats, Black Bears, Alligators, and many more, while you stroll through our scenic boardwalks and cypress swamp. Participate in animal feedings and keeper talks every weekend. Chehaw’s African Veldt Ride is free with admission, and will take you through our largest exhibit where seven different species roam in natural herds. The Zoo at Chehaw is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). To be accredited, zoos must undergo a thorough investigation to ensure that they have met, and will to continue to meet, ever-rising standards. These standards encompass animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years.

Corn Snake

Pantherophis guttatus

Image result for red corn snake

Red Corn Snakes are found throughout the eastern and southern US. They range from southern New Jersey to Florida and as far west as Mississippi to Louisiana. They can be found in many different terrestrial habitats. They favor rocky outcrops and deciduous forests where they can nest in crevices and logs. They can also be found in fields and around homes and barns.

Corn snakes are known for having a mild temperament. They are also non-venomous and cab reach lengths of 4-5 feet. These aspects are why people have kept them as pets, though they are illegal as pets in some states due to corn snakes being endangered in though states. Corn snakes are most commonly known to be red-orange and brown but depending on the region they can also be gray or yellow. They are sometime mistaken for copper heads due to the colors. You can tell the difference by looking at the narrower head, lighter coloration, and square-shaped spots on the corn snake.

Their name sake comes from the spotted black and white pattern on the belly that looks like Indian corn. They are also known to curl up in corn stokes and wait and ambush birds and small mammals when they come to eat. Corn snakes feed on birds, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and eggs. They will hunt by climbing trees or hiding out in borrows.

Eastern Screech Owl

Megascops asio

Image result for eastern screech owl

Eastern Screech-owls are small owls reaching 16 to 25 cm in length, about the size of a robin Like in other owls females are larger than males. Like the great horned-owl, they also have ear tuffs. They are also dichromatic. This means they come in two different color morphs, red or gray. Eastern Screech-owls favor mixed woods, so the two morphs help the owls to blend in with different color bark. This being said when it comes to habitat the Eastern Screech-owl is the most diverse of all the North American owls. There distribution ranges from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Coast and Florida and southern Texas to southern Canada. They can be found in virtually all kinds of habitats below 1500 meters, from woodlands to urban areas. They are a cavity nester and will use nest boxes or natural cavities to build nest.

Despite their name Screech-owls don’t screech. They make trills, whinnies, and whistles. Eastern Screech-owls can live up to 10-14 years in the wild. In captivity they can reach ages of around 20 years. Their diet consist of insects, like moths and katydids, crayfish, earthworms, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, like mice and bats, and small birds. It’s been known that the Screech-owls will live with Acrobat ants in their nest. The ants do not harm the owls but will protect the nest if any predators arrive by spraying irritating liquids and biting.

Bearded Dragon

Pogona vitticeps

Bearded Dragons are native to eastern and central Australia. Their habitat consists of deserts to dry forests and scrublands. They are a semi-arboreal lizard and can be seen basking on fallen branches, fence posts and picnic tables. They get their name sake from the spikey scaled expandable throat pouch which is called their “beard.” They will puff up when angry or freighted. Bearded Dragons can be 13 to 24 inches long and have a broad, triangular head, round body, short legs, and a robust tail. Their coloration depends and the soil color in there region. This can range from a dull brown to tan with red or gold highlights.

Bearded Dragons can use their “beard” for mating. Though both sexes have a “beard,” the males will display it more frequently. An interesting behavior bearded dragons will show is called arm waving. They will stand on three legs and lift one leg and move it in a circular motion. This makes them look like they are waving or swimming. This is a sign of submission to other dragons. To show dominance, a dragon will bob its head.

Bearded Dragons are opportunistic omnivores. Since they will in harsh environments they are not picky eaters and will eat whatever is available. Their diet will consist of plant matter, insects, and the sometime small rodents or lizards. Due to bearded dragons being so popular in the pet field, Australia has strictly prohibited the export of dragons since 1960. It is thought that the so called “founder stock” of captive bread dragons outside of Australia were smuggled out between 1974 and 1990.