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                                                                                                                         AUTUMN
       

        There are many interesting creatures that live naturally in the zoo grounds but are not part of the zoo collection. The ones featured below while not strictly seasonal are
       more active in the humid conditions we get in Autumn or Spring rather than wet Winters and the dry weather of Summer.
  

Kauri snail           Some twenty years ago two kauri snails [paraphanta busbyi] were introduced into the grounds of the Park. Over the years they have increased in numbers somewhat dramatically and are now are commonly found in in the Park grounds and  the neighbouring properties even crossing the road to inhabit land there. Nocturnal in habit they are sometimes found still wandering in the morning as the one pictured. They are unable to cope with the sun however, and can die from heat stress if not returned to a suitable spot before the day warms up. Kauri snails are carnivores feeding mainly on earthworms, but have been found here eating other snails and I have had a report of one eating a weta. The one featured has a shell measuring 60mm across from front to back.
giantworm           This large worm [Spenceriella gigantia] was found above ground after a rainy night. These large worms can measure up to 1.4 meters in length and are found in the bush areas of the zoo, they do not appear to be in the grassed sections. However it can difficult, unless a spade is used, to locate  where they are, as unlike garden worms they do not produce casts on the surface from the soil ingested while burrowing or normally come out of their holes in wet weather. I suspect the one in the photograph was unwell. In the morning they can on occasions be heard withdrawing into their holes when disturbed by your footsteps producing a sucking sound.  They are also reputed to be able to glow in the dark producing enough light from which a person could                                                              read.
 


 Leo gecko centipede 1            One morning this Leopard Gecko had what appeared to be the hind legs of a   leo gecko         
cricket protruding from its mouth. Closer inspection revealed that they were
the appendages at the back end of a reasonably sized centipede. Although it looked uncomfortable and hoping perhaps that it had swallowed only a portion of the centipede it was decided to allow the gecko the chance to digest it rather than attempt to manually withdraw it and risk internal damage. However over night it managed to regurgitate its rather ambitious and dangerous meal and
seemed to suffer no ill effects. Centipedes are common in the Park grounds and
as they can be predatory to lizards we endeavour to exclude them from the
enclosures. If the gecko had not been able to get the upper hand [we are still
wondering how it was able to] the centipede would have quite capable of killing it and using it for food.








 

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