Riverbanks Zoo is undergoing renovations for a new aquatic-reptile facility

Oh buoy, Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens is making waves.

The local zoo is undergoing a large transformation by renovating the Aquarium-Reptile Complex. The reptile house is set to close in August for the construction and is expected to be finished + open in spring or summer of 2022.  

A rendering of the outside of the new Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center | Photo provided by Riverbanks Zoo

The new center will be named Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center that will include coral colonies, a desert biome with cacti, chuckwallas, spiny-tailed monitors, and Gila monsters. 

Guests can expect to see close-up encounters of wildlife that will bring animal care + conservation efforts that Riverbanks play a part in behind-the-scenes to the forefront of guest experiences. With the new project comes a rare opportunity that will allow guests to witness propagation of coral species as part of a new coral conversation lab. 

A rendering of the inside of the of the new Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center | Photo provided by Riverbanks Zoo

Water they doing to kelp coral conservation?

Riverbanks Zoo has partnered with zoo aquarists off the coast of Florida near Key West and have played a part in the Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project. The 360-mile stretch of coral has been dying or destroyed by unknown disease, and both parties have been caring for ~40 rescued coral colonies since 2019. 

See ya later alligator, kind of. 

In preparation for the renovation, Riverbanks transferred two false gharial crocodiles that are enjoying their new habitats at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California. Prior to departure, the pair lived at Riverbanks Zoo for more than 30 years.