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Keeper Stories – Thursday, February 9

Hey y’all! My name is Sara and I am the newest Keeper I in the Herpetology Department here at Zoo Atlanta! Prior to taking this job, I was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a Georgia native, I am very excited to move back to my home state! Obviously, Zoo Atlanta’s location is a perk for me, but that’s not the only reason I am excited for the chance to work here. Zoo Atlanta is a fantastic zoological facility that takes excellent care of all of the animals at the Zoo. As many keepers are fond of saying, the animals at Zoo Atlanta eat better food than we do. Even the animals’ food eats better food than we do!

Now you may be wondering what that last comment was about. Here in the Herpetology Department, we have many animals that are insectivores, which (as you can probably guess) means they eat insects. Because of this, the Herpetology Department has a number of insect colonies that we raise behind the scenes to keep all of our insectivorous reptiles and amphibians fed and happy. These insects are fed the same greens, fruits, and vegetables that our herbivorous reptiles and amphibians get, which is always top-notch. By ensuring that the insects we are feeding to our insectivores eat well, we are also ensuring that our insectivores eat well.

Speaking of our insectivores, they range in size from adult Meller’s chameleons to young Panamanian golden frogs that could sit easily on your thumbnail! As you can imagine, an insect that we would feed to a Meller’s chameleon would be much too large for a young Panamanian golden frog. This leads to us having many different sizes of insects to accommodate our insectivores. We have four different sizes of crickets alone!

Aside from having many different sizes of insects, we also have many different types of insects for our insectivorous reptiles and amphibians. Just like us, these animals might not want to eat the same thing every day. So, to ensure that all of our insectivores have a varied diet, we have crickets, beetles, three species of flies, and five species of roaches! Although none of those choices sound particularly appetizing to me, our insectivores seem to love them, and that’s what’s important. I personally think I’ll stick with pizza. Until next time, Zoo Atlanta fans!
Sara Porter
Keeper I, Herpetology

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