A new Vivarium opened just outside Cartagena last month. I didn’t even know what a Vivarium was. We had the chance to check it out last weekend.
Thanks to Wikipedia: A vivarium (Latin, literally for “place of life”; plural: vivaria or vivariums) is an area, usually enclosed, for keeping and raising animals or plants for observation or research. Often, a portion of the ecosystem for a particular species is simulated on a smaller scale, with controls for environmental conditions.
We drove out to the country, and met with a very nice guide who happily took us on a private tour of the facility. 60 mil pesos (around $20 USD) for the whole family and we were in. They just opened to the public although they have been in existence for some time.
This vivarium focused on reptiles, amphibians and fish.
Piranhas, Mata Mata turtles, rattle snakes…. this was not necessarily my element. However, my kids loved it. Many of these animals reside in either Colombia or the surrounding Amazonian areas. Next was feeding the turtles, this is a little more my speed. Their favorite treat are these purple flowers.
If you know my son, you know how alligators and crocodiles have been a favorite for a long time. This part of the tour made the top of his list. We saw all the way from the eggs to the nursery and on up to the large crocodiles. Highlight was watching the staff feed them.
This was the grand finale….
I struggle with these facilities sometimes. I wonder if the education and exposure can offset putting animals into captivity in facilities that are sometimes not up to par. I do believe that understanding animals is the key to saving them and the habitat they need to survive. The staff here were very knowledgable about the animals and what issues they faced. Thank you Vivarium del Caribe for the educational visit.
If you would like to visit the Vivarium, here is a map and visitor information.