“Build it and they’ll come” was the idea behind The Reptile Zoo that ex-fisherman Jay Brewer and his wife Becky implemented most successfully. To date, this zoo has experienced a footfall of nearly 20,000 visitors.
It all started, when the couple decided to open a pet store called Pet Country in Fountain Valley in California, the USA in 1988. It had all kinds of pets, but the majority of them were reptiles. The store did good business, which prompted the couple to shift it to a 5,000 square foot superstore in Fountain Valley itself and call it Prehistoric Pets.
The idea was to give a ‘zoo-like’ experience to visitors. It had a pond in the middle filled with a variety of aquatic animals, such as giant tropical fish, Galapagos Tortoise weighing 400 pounds, and many more. The store itself exhibited over a thousand animals, primarily reptiles.
Seeing its success, it was further extended to 13,000 square feet and renamed The Reptile Zoo. Today, it exhibits reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids from around the world. It has become popular among people who want to observe exotic animals that they don’t get to see even in large zoos. Most of the reptiles are rescues, sourced from private collections and many were born at the premises itself.
The aim of The Reptile Zoo is not only to exhibit both traditional and exotic pets found around the world but also to provide first-hand knowledge about exotic reptiles and other animals through interactive displays and presentations. Also, on display are proper handling techniques by trained handlers, who apprise the visitors about the basic facts of each animal and how to care for them. To make things more interesting, the store created Jurassic Parties, interactive educational events that further the understanding and respect for animals.
If you happen to visit Disneyland, The Reptile Zoo is just 20 minutes away and it’s only 10 minutes from John Wayne Airport. The zoo has become a permanent feature on the itinerary of most tourists visiting the state. Its Instagram page enjoys a viewership of over 412,000 fans.
The Reptile Zoo