Burgers Zoo – Netherlands

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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands Burgers Zoo, named after the original owners, opened in 1913 and I one of the largest zoos in the Netherlands. It is a mix of old and new, like many old European zoos, but does not have many of the original buildings. There are several themed areas, when I visited I enjoyed many of the sections including the oceans, bush, desert, mangrove. Safari and the newest, Rimba (South Eastern Asian Rainforest). Much of the signage is supplemented in English too. The ocean section has two large tanks, each 3000000 litres, and in total there is 8000000 litres – sharks, state of the art coral and tropical fish. My least favourite exhibits were the gorillas and chimpanzee enclosure - this has altered little since it was built…
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Natural Terraria Department

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We are always looking to give a better experience at Coast to Coast Exotics. We installed a new department some four years ago dedicated to natural terraria, as this has become more and more popular with our customers we have relocated and refurbished the department. It's now closer to the main showroom, right next door, in fact. Natural terraria are nothing new in the hobby. When I first started, some forty years or more ago, all my terraria were planted with real plants, complete with drainage layers and what is now referred to us clean up crew (Woodlice etc). It's documented as long ago as two hundred years, there are several books on the topic from that long ago. The idea is to keep a natural ecosystem where plants and animals benefit…
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Reptile Egg Incubation

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There are many ways if incubating reptile eggs. By far the easiest is to use a purpose designed reptile incubator. There are several brands to choose from, virtually all the big names offer an incubator. One of the cheapest and most popular ones is the Lucky Reptile Egg-o-bator. At first glance it looks a little novelty based with its egg shaped design and cheerful graphics. But it does the job for a clutch or two of small species eggs, such as geckos and snakes.   There are some options that will make incubating reptile eggs much easier. The first is the incubation kits from Hatchrite. The are available in small and large size and include everything you need to successfully incubate your eggs once you have purchased the incubator. Follow…
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Trip to Australia – Northern territory, Darwin and Kakadu National Park

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After leaving the “Red Centre” we visited the Darwin area and the vast Kakadu National Park. It’s a huge area of varying terrain and habitat. Our base was another small holding, relatively close to both Darwin and Kakadu in a rambling place called Humpty Doo. The small holding was owned by a family that were heavily into animals, and again like the one we stayed near Alice Springs the local animal knowledge was invaluable. We needed to visit Darwin, as a friend has (now had) a reptile exhibit at Crocosaurus Cove. The city is quite small scale, generally with low level buildings and lots of public Parks. There are lots of opportunities even within the city to see wild native reptiles and amphibians. Crocosaurus Park, whilst worth a short one hour…
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Tortoise Diets

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There are several artificial tortoise diets on the market at the moment that can complement the dietary requirements of the commonly kept species. These should not be used solely in their diet, and are designed to be used with weeds. There are also weed seeds and weed growing kits for those that do not have easy access to their own source of safe, clean weeds such as dandelions.   Pellets; There are several on the market, some are better than others. We particularly recommend the ProRep Tortoise food in jars.  ProRep's low protein, high fibre tortoise food combines a range of natural foods, including grasses and edible weeds, which are chopped and then formed into cobs, before being gently dried. Because they are not cooked at high temperatures or finely…
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T5 or T8? Which is better?

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There is a lot of confusion regarding fluorescent tubes in the reptile keeping world regarding T5 and T8. So what is the difference? The original out of the two, is the T8 tube. They have been traditionally known as a 1 inch diameter tube. They have been available for a couple of decades in three “grades” for reptile use; 2% or full spectrum – very low UVB output, but gives a similar colour spectrum to natural sunlight. 5-6% or rainforest power, ideal UVB tube for species that require UVB, but at a lower level, often found where forest species live. 10-12% or desert power, ideal for species requiring higher levels of UVB, for species that bask in intense levels of sun. The method of use is to pick a UVB…
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Care of Livefood in Cold Weather

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Crickets, mealworms and Locusts are still the number one best sellers where livefood is concerned. The following information mainly concerns these, however much of it can be used for other livefoods. One of the main problems when dealing with livefoods is when they have been sent through the post when delivered via mail order. The temperatures are very low during transit during the winter months. It also stands when the livefood has been left in the cold (say in the car when going shopping). One of the main issues causing loss is change of temperatures, it’s inevitable during the winter months, but must be done carefully. Do not warm the livefood quickly by applying an external heat source (for example placing in the vivarium, above a radiator etc). Place the…
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Australian Outback

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    This part of the field trip to Australia takes us to the more exciting and herpetologically interesting red centre – Alice Springs and Uluru. Last months instalment brought some interesting reptiles, but of course the further north you go in Oz, the more reptiles there are to wet our appetite! I stayed in a small holding just outside of Alice springs, around 40 miles away down a sand road, out there it is very remote and even the main roads are very sporadically paved or tarmacked. The little hut I had managed to track down was perfect for anybody hunting reptiles and amphibians, remote and pretty much undisturbed (although a local rubbish dump proved very favourable hunting!). On the first morning it had been raining, and one of…
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Our role in helping the future reptile keepers – our fitment of vivaria at Myerscough Croxteth College

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Educating the keepers of tomorrow is a priority for the future of the hobby and key to this is the provision of quality learning environments. Coast to Coast Exotics enjoyed playing an active part in this when it was asked to fit a full animal care unit in 2016 at East Durham and Peterlee College. This was then followed by completing two reptile rooms, an aquatic room and a reception display at a college in Croxteth, Liverpool in 2018. Myerscough Croxteth College contacted Kevin in February 2017, with a view to installing new vivaria, aquaria and associated equipment into their new animal care unit at the Croxteth campus. This followed Coast to Coast Exotics previouse involvement in the fitting of equipment at their Preston campus, several years ago, and after…
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