Ball Python

Ball Python

(Python regius)

The Zoo’s male ball python was born in 2009 and came to Seneca Park Zoo in 2013. He is a part of the Zoo’s program animal collection.

Animal Facts

Diet

Ball pythons feed primarily on rodents, but will also eat other small mammals and birds. Ball pythons only eat once every few weeks; they can go up to several months with no food.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The ball python lives in western and central Africa. They can be found in open forests and dry savannas.

Usually they reside in areas near open water where they can cool themselves during hot weather.

Ball pythons are considered threatened in the wild. They are a highly-exploited species and are very important to the pet trade because of their beautiful skin. The ball python mates only every two to three years, so more effort is needed to protect and propagate this species.

Burmese Python

Burmese Python

(Python bivittatus)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to two Burmese pythons, both males. Garrett and Caulkins, resides inside the Zoo’s E.C.O. Center. They were hatched in 2016 right here at Seneca Park Zoo. Their parents were longtime zoo residents Abby and Mr. Slithers.

Animal Facts

Diet

The Burmese python eats appropriately sized mammals, birds and rodents.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The jungles and scrublands of Burma, Malasia and Thailand compose the Burmese python’s habitat.

It has been slaughtered to supply the world leather market, as well as for folk medicines and captured for the pet trade. In recent years, extensive captive breeding has lessened the animals threat but unauthorized release of pet Burmese pythons in the Everglades has introduced an invasive species into a fragile environment.

Giant Day Gecko

Giant Day Gecko

(Phelsuma grandis)

One male giant day gecko can be found inside the E.C.O. Center.

Animal Facts

Diet

Carnivorous. Giant day geckos eat various invertebrates (especially insects), nectar, and occasionally small vertebrates.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The giant day gecko is native to the tropical and subtropical rainforests of Madagascar.

They are found in the uppermost canopies and often near human settlements and cities.

East African Spiny-Tailed Lizard

East African Spiny-Tailed Lizard

(Cordylus tropidosternum)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to three East African spiny-tailed lizards (Common name: tropical girdled lizard). Their habitat is located inside the Animals of the Savanna building.

Animal Facts

Diet

East African spiny-tailed lizards are carnivores, and feed mainly on invertebrates.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

These lizards are found throughout the southern coast of Kenya to eastern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique.

They are ground-dwellers and prefer dry forest habitats.

New Caledonian Crested Gecko

New Caledonian Crested Gecko

(Rhacodactylus ciliatus)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to two crested geckos. Both were born in May 2005, and arrived at the Zoo in 2007. Their names are Crazy-Eye and Hopscotch, and they are a part of the Zoo’s ambassador animal program.

Animal Facts

Diet

The New Caledonian crested gecko feeds on a variety of insects and fruit.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

These geckos are native to the island of New Caledonia, in the southeast Pacific, east of Australia.

This species was once thought to be extinct. It was rediscovered in 1994 and is now listed as endangered.

Red-Eared Slider

Red-Eared Slider

(Trachemys scripta elegans)

There are two red-eared sliders at Seneca Park Zoo and they can be found in the Genesee Trail (seasonally).

Animal Facts

Diet

Omnivore. Adults feed on plant and animal matter. They like to eat snails, tadpoles and fish, as well as duckweed and water lilies.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

Red-eared sliders are from the southeastern United States and also live in New York State. They can often be found basking on logs or stumps in or near water.

Humans are the greatest enemy of red-eared sliders. Each year, turtles are harmed; mainly from habitat destruction and pollution.

Red-Footed Tortoise

Red-Footed Tortoise

(Geochelone carbonaria)

Koopa is the name of our female red-footed tortoise. She loves to eat grapes!

Animal Facts

Diet

The forest habitat provides the red-foot with an abundance of fallen fruits such as wild plum. It also eats wild mushrooms, vines, grasses, succulents and carrion, and is attracted to yellow and red flowers.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The red-footed tortoise is found throughout extreme southern Central America, and central and northern South America

This includes the countries of Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina. Red-foots are commonly found in relatively-dry grassland and forests areas. They can also be found in humid forest habitat. Red-foots are protected under Appendix II of the CITES, meaning they may not be exported from its home country without a permit. In every country in its range, the biggest threat to the survival of the red-footed tortoise is hunting by man.

Spotted Turtle

Spotted Turtle

(Clemmys guttata)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to two spotted turtles that are a part of the Zoo’s ambassador animal program.

Animal Facts

Diet

Spotted turtles are omnivores. They eat algae, water lily seeds, worms, slugs, grass, mollusks and amphibian eggs.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

These turtles are native to New York State and the Midwest.

In these areas, fragmentation and loss of wetland habitats has resulted in the population decline of the spotted turtle. The loss of this animal is also attributed to them being used in the pet trade industry.

Western Rat Snake

Western Rat Snake

(Pantherophis obsoletus)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to one western rat snake, a male named Pugsly. The rat snakes are a part of the Zoo’s ambassador animal program.

Animal Facts

Diet

The western rat snake is an opportunistic feeder, meaning it will go after a wide range of available prey including mice, rats, other snakes, lizards, bird eggs, songbirds, squirrels, and frogs. These snakes can go for more than a week without food.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The western rat snake has one of the largest distributions of all common rat snakes. They can be found in northern New York down through Georgia, and west across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Similarly, they can also be found in a wide range of habitats, from sea level to high elevations, such as the Appalachian Mountains, to rocky hillsides and flat farmlands.

The western rat snake is listed as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of moderate habitat modification, and presumed large population. However, they occasionally become victims of roadkill and also get killed by humans when mistaken for venomous snakes.