Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, located in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, is a zoo dedicated entirely to reptiles and parakeets. Reptiland is small enough so that you can see all the exhibits in a short time but large enough to offer visitors the opportunity to view and learn about many species of reptiles, both by observing them and by going to one or more of the reptile shows and talks.
This accredited zoo is a good place to stop and stretch your legs if you are on a long road trip, and it's well worth your time. Even better, you can visit Reptiland at any time of year, although outdoor exhibits close after October 31 and reopen in the spring.
Behind-the-scenes tours and meet-and-feed experiences with Reptiland's two Aldabra tortoises are available by prior arrangement (tickets must be purchased separately).
The two American alligators in this photo are quite large in real life. They appear to be sleeping, but, in reality, they are very aware of what is going on around them. Meeting them in the wild would be a very frightening experience.
American alligators don't normally live in Pennsylvania. Their habitat includes the southeastern United States, and you will usually find them in or near freshwater. They are great swimmers, but they are dangerous on land, too.
If you would like to learn more about American alligators at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, consider going to a 10-minute Croc Talk. Croc Talks are offered a couple of times each day.
The Galápagos tortoise lives in the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. These giant reptiles can live for many years. Male Galápagos tortoises can weigh as much as 500 pounds. Their bodies are well-adapted for living in dry climates. Galápagos tortoises can go for almost a year without eating or drinking, according to the National Geographic Society.
At Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, the Galápagos tortoise lives indoors during the winter and stays in this outdoor enclosure during the warmer months. The tortoise enjoys taking mud baths.
Turtles,Tortoises and Dragons at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland
In addition to the Galápagos tortoise, you can see Aldabra tortoises, forest tortoises and four species of turtle at Reptiland. Some of the tortoises live in the Island Giants exhibit area, along with Komodo dragons, the world's largest living lizard species. Komodo dragons are native to just five Indonesian islands. With such a limited habitat, and with a taste for any type of meat, including (rarely) humans, the Komodo dragon is listed as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Programme's Red List.
Reptiland has started a Komodo dragon breeding program. Several other US zoos also have Komodo dragon breeding programs, but it is difficult to breed and raise Komodo dragons in captivity. Reptiland's program will increase the population of Komodo dragons worldwide and help preserve the species.
In addition to its Croc Talks, Clyde Peeling's Reptiland offers Dragon Talks twice each day. At a Dragon Talk, you'll learn more about what makes Komodo dragons so unique and intriguing.
The reticulated python, a native of southeast Asia, is the world's longest snake. Reticulated pythons can grow to be over 20 feet long. This enormous snake is a constrictor; it kills its prey by wrapping its body in coils around its future meal and squeezing tightly.
At Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, the zookeepers receive extensive training on the care and handling of snakes. Reticulated pythons are large enough to kill a human, so zookeepers must learn the proper procedures for feeding and caring for these giant snakes. The reticulated python at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland is kept in a large enclosure with water and rocks. Smaller snakes live in enclosures in the Exhibit Gallery. Reptiland is home to 17 snake species, including snakes from Asia, Africa, Central and South America and North America.
Because of their large size, immense strength and aggressive nature, reticulated pythons are generally not recommended as pets. There have been reports over the years of pet reticulated pythons killing or attempting to kill their owners. It's much safer - and easier - to view reticulated pythons and other dangerous snakes in zoos such as Reptiland.
Exhibit Gallery Residents
Several species of lizards, frogs, geckos and an estuarine crocodile live in the Exhibit Gallery. Some of these animals live outdoors during the warmer months, but move indoors during the cold, snowy Pennsylvania winter. Even during the chilliest months of the year, you can visit them at Reptiland.
If you would like to learn more about the lizards, snakes and reptiles who make their home at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, plan your visit around one or two of the live shows that take place each day.
Dinosaurs Come to Life, a special exhibit at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, has proven so popular that Reptiland has purchased some of the dinosaur representations to keep on-site.
This Tyrannosaurus Rex is life-sized and can move, roar and open its jaws. Fortunately, it cannot run, but it is realistic enough that many visitors to Reptiland (including this author) give it a wide berth.
Dinosaurs Come to Life is an outdoor exibit that features life-sized, moving representations of several types of dinosaurs, including baby dinosaurs hatching from eggs, a Brachiosaurus that looms above the exhibit area and a Dilophosaurus that brings Jurassic Park to mind. Even though you know the dinosaurs aren't real, your reaction to their sounds and movements may surprise you.
If You Go:
- Reptiland offers daily shows at 90-minute intervals. Expect your entire visit to take between one and two hours.
- There is a small café on site, or you can bring food and eat it in Reptiland's picnic area.
- Reptiland is wheelchair accessible.
- Reptiland is just a short drive (approximately 10 minutes) from the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Clyde Peeling's Reptiland
18628 US Route 15
Allenwood, PA 17810
Reptiland is open year-round, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Hours vary by season.
Admission is $16 for ages 12 and up and $14 for ages 3 through 11. Children age 2 and under enter for free.