After spending an entire day doing so much on our trip through South Dakota, we decided we could fit just ONE MORE thing in before calling it quits.
Reptile Gardens itself is a vintage roadside attraction founded in 1937 with some pretty fun history. Of course, I was really into that aspect.
So, as it turns out - I sat on this very tortoise when I was this boys age. His name is Methuselah, a Galapagos Tortoise, and he lived to be approx. 130 years old according to the lady taking our tickets. I was looking forward to seeing him, but he passed away in July - just last month. We saw his shell, and his yard mates, but it just wasn't the same...
We couldn't sit on this guy but we could touch him. He (or she) got up and walked around for a while. So much personality - I swear I fell in love - I love reptiles, especially turtles, tortoises and frogs.
There was an amazing (truly) collection of venomous exotic snakes, frogs and toads. It was hard to tear myself away. Although I hope I never come into contact with these creatures in the wild - I felt so lucky to be inches away - and behind a thin wall of aquarium glass.
There were beautiful Macaws, Parrots and Cockatoos too. They were so loud - I can't believe Eve didn't freak out - but she strolled along wide eyed and dealt. She's been such a trooper this whole trip and hasn't caused one second of stress for us.
Here's the point where my camera battery ran out. Right before we visited Maniac - the biggest croc I've ever laid eyes on. It was like seeing a dinosaur in person, approx. 17 feet long. That isn't even the biggest they can grow. Todd informed me that they can be as long as 25 feet. It's a bit mind blowing - a creature that immense. He was so gigantic and beautiful. Sorry I have failed you on this one. Trust me. Awesome.