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Reptiles! Bizarre and Beautiful Returns to the VLM

March 15, 2017

The Virginia Living Museum (VLM) is slated to host their annual Reptiles! Bizarre and Beautiful event March 25-26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum, located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News.

To some, reptiles are strange and frightening creatures, but others say they are just misunderstood. Experience a wide variety of native and exotic reptiles from all corners of the world on display and in live animal programs. From their fascinating features, vibrant colors and intricate patterns to their unique abilities, reptiles truly are bizarre and beautiful.

“Reptiles are an essential part of our world. They serve many roles in many different ecosystems, and even though we’ve learned a lot about them over the years, they still have things to teach us about the natural world we live in,” said Travis Land, VLM Herpetology Curator.

Throughout the weekend, guest exhibitors will add exotic creatures to the museum’s native showing of reptiles. Visitors will have a chance to meet and experience live exotic reptiles on exhibit from local organizations including Reptile Education of Virginia (REV), Sandy Bottom Nature Park, Virginia Herpetological Society, Virginia Stranding Team,  Wildlife Response, Inc and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Also, herpetology enthusiasts will also have an opportunity to visit the VLM’s permanent residents ranging from alligators to tree frogs on exhibit, in special exhibits, in live animal programs, and feedings.

The VLM staff will educate visitors about the museum’s citizen science projects such as FrogWatch and Turtle Census, bust reptile myths, learn the difference between venomous and non-venomous, and discuss daily challenges they face while caring for the reptiles.

A variety of tour activities and planetarium showings are offered throughout the weekend. The Abbitt Planetarium will feature three different shows, “A Sky Full of Scales,” “Noisy Neighbors,” and “The Future is Wild.” Also, at 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, a special Reptile Weekend Behind-the-Scenes tour will be available for ages 7 and above. Children’s crafts and activities will be available throughout the weekend as well. Guests will have an opportunity to purchase a Reptile Skin Bookmark or “Snake Paintings” by the museum’s resident snakes. Both will be on sale to benefit the VLM’s animals.

“Even if you’re not the world’s biggest fan of reptiles, I think this reptile weekend will still have something for everyone. From crafts and activities for the kids to the planetarium and animal shows. All of this to pay homage to Earth’s bizarre and beautiful inhabitants. With community support, I look forward to this event being better every year,” said Land.

Admission for non-members is $20 for adults, $15 for children (ages 3-12); ages 2 and under and VLM members are free. The planetarium shows are free for members, and $4 plus admission for non-members. The special Reptile Weekend Behind-the-Scenes tour is $12 for members and $14 plus admission for non-members.

For more information visit www.thevlm.org or call 757-595-1900.

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