PIC OF THE MONTH


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Venison is Off the Menu

Gharial and muntjac

This month photograph comes from John Brueggen, General Curator of the St Augustine Alligator Farm. Take it away John...

"This photo shows a Reeve's Muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) and an Indian Gharial ( Gavialis gangeticus). These animals are on display together at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The Muntjac is a type of deer from Asia. It is a full grown, adult male. It lives in a large enclosure with four adult gharial. Gharial have a specific diet of fish and have no interest in eating the deer. These animals can both be found in India and make a very dramatic exhibit.

At the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, we have every species of crocodilian on display. Many people come to see the various species, but to some people, once you have seen a few, they all start looking the same. So, we have tried to make our exhibits as interesting as possible. We attempt to make them fairly natural, and try to include appropriate plants and other animals for our visitors to see. As you can imagine, this can be quite a challenge. Some of our other mixed species exhibits include various species of fresh water turtles, assorted fish, as well as the occasional tortoise. It is our goal to have species together that would be found near each other in the wild. So, in our Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) exhibit, for example, you can also find the South American Yellow-spotted River Turtle ( Podocnemis unifilis) as well as Red-foot (Geochelone carbonaria) and Yellow-foot tortoises (Geochelone denticulata). Admittedly, many of our exhibits just have crocodiles in them. There are some crocodiles that are not going to share their home with anything else!"



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