Buffalo Zoo’s Reptile House Closes For Renovation

March 23, 2018

Renovation of the Buffalo Zoo’s Reptile House in Buffalo, New York started today with the closing of the Reptile House, in a ceremony attended by New York state Sen. Chris Jacobs at the zoo. When the facility opens in Spring 2019, the new Donna M. Fernandes Amphibian and Reptile Center (A.R.C.) will take the Reptile House’s place.

Thank you to everyone who came to our press event today to announce the closing of the Reptile House! We are very…

Posted by The Buffalo Zoo on Friday, March 23, 2018

“We are grateful to the State of New York and to Senator Jacobs for securing $150,000 of state funding towards this much needed project,” Buffalo Zoo President/CEO, Norah Fletchall said in a statement at the event. “This funding, along with the generous support of others will allow us to continue to highlight reptile and amphibian species, including those native to our region.”

Buffalo Zoo To Get New Reptile And Amphibian Center

The zoo, originally built in 1942 by Marlin Perkins of Wild Kingdom, and then Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, was once considered to be the best reptile and amphibian facility in the nation, but was in need of some upgrades.  The zoo raised more than $3 million to upgrade the exhibit, with an additional $150,000 coming from the state. 


My how our hellbenders have grown! They turned 8 years old this fall and it is amazing working with these slimy giant…

Posted by The Buffalo Zoo on Tuesday, January 23, 2018

“The Buffalo Zoo is a tremendous regional asset that I am privileged to have in my district, and I am very pleased to have secured the $150,000 needed to complete the funding for the new Amphibian and Reptile Center,” said Senator Jacobs.  “This new facility will add to the Zoo’s reputation as a world class destination and I look forward to its opening next year.”


patrick campbell/shutterstock

A new bushmaster exhibit will be one of the highlights of the Donna M. Fernandes Amphibian and Reptile Center.

When the renovated center opens next year, it will have new additions, including a Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) exhibit, as well as a bushmaster (Lachesis spp.) exhibit.

The center will feature a new roof, heating and ventilation systems as well as more realistic habitats and interactive educational stations. The renovation will also bolster the zoo’s conservation efforts with herbs such as hellbenders (Cryptobranchus  spp.), Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur), and Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki). 


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