Anolis carolinensisanole fb1


  • Polychrotidae


  • 2 - 8 years


  • Length: 5 - 8 inches
  • Weight: 3 grams


  • The green anole is found thoughout much of the southeastern united States, extending north through parts of North Carolina, west to Texas, and south through Florida. It has been introduced to Hawaii, Japan, Cuba, the bahamas, and Guam.


  • An arboreal lizard, they like to hide in trees. They are often seen in urban areas as there are lots of places to hide in.


  • Wild: Small invertebrates such as butterflies, cicadas, juvenile grasshoppers, and flies.
  • Zoo: Freeze-dried fruit flies.


  • The majority of green anoles are polygynous. Especially in larger populations, they usually will mate only within their own territories.
  • To attract the attention of females, males bob their heads up and down and extend their dewlaps.
  • Males protect their mating partners from other intruding males by defending their territory.
  • Unlike other Anolis species, such as Anolis aeneus, green anoles do not leave their hatch sites after breeding.

General Information

  • Green anoles are the only species of anoles native to North America.
  • Recent introductions of invasive species of anoles int he green anoles' range may cause population concerns in the future.
  • The green anole can change its color and is sometimes referred to as the "American Chameleon," although its color changing is not nearly as dramatic or as sophisticated as a true chameleon.


  • IUCN: Lower Risk
  • CITES: No Special Status

anole port1


  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.
  2. IUCN Red List. Accessed December 2012.
  3. Animal Diversity Web: Anolis carolinesis.


Psammobates pardalistortoisel port1


  • Testudinidae


  • Wild: 100 years
  • Captivity: 75 years


  • Length: 11- 37 inches long
  • Weight: 30 - 120 lbs


  • Africa and Ethiopia


  • Range from dry arid plains to rassland ecosystems, most live in shrub type habitats.


  • Wild: Low lying vegetation, berries, and fruits when available.
  • Zoo: Fresh vegetables and fruit daily. During the summer, they have access to an outdoor exhibit and will graze on the fresh grass. 


  • Monogamous
  • They bury their eggs, which have a gestation period of 9 - 12 months.
  • Females can lay 5 - 7 clutches a year.
  • Mothers leave after hatching, causing the hatchlings to be independent immediately.
  • Temperature-dependent births, meaning that the eggs are born male or female depending on the temperature.

General Informationtortoisel 2

  • Some believe that you can determine the age of a tortoise by counting the rings on its shell. However, this is not possible. The rings or scutes are formed during growth periods and leopard tortoises (like all tortoises) may grow at different times and rates during the year.
  • The leopard tortoise is one of the largest mainland tortoises and has an elevated carapace (the top part of the shell) that is tawny, yellow or buff, with brown centers to each scute with black radiations and spots. Because of this pattern, they've been given the name "leopard."
  • The male has a slightly concave plastron near the tail and a longer tail.
  • African Leopard Tortoises, like all tortoises and turtles, cannot come completely out of their shell. Their spine is fused to the underside of the carapace. 

Differences Between a Turtle and a Tortoise

  • Turtles have flat feet with long claws that help them swim, where as tortoises have elephant-like feet to help them walk on land.
  • Some tortoises, like the African leopard tortoise, are so heavy and dense that they cannot swim at all, and will drown in water levels above their head.
  • Turtles generally are more hydrodynamic, meaning they have a flatter shell that is less water resistant. This allows them to swim quickly.


  • IUCN: Lower Risk
  • CITES: Appendix II
    • The biggest threat to this species is human beings, which harvest them for food and for illegal export for the pet industry.

tortoisel 3


  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.
  2. IUCN Red List. Accessed December 2012.
  3. Smithsonian National Zoological Park: Leopard Tortoise Fact Sheet.

**All animal information is meant to be an educational resource. It may not include all the latest scientific information. Though we edit our information we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all facts presented.

The mission of the Children's Zoo is to be a resource to the Great Lakes Bay Region through recreation, education and conservation.

Zoo Camps 

The Zoo offers one-, two- or three-day zoo camps to fit every schedule and interest. Campers visit different animals in the zoo, talk with keepers and participate in activities geared toward camp themes. 

Event Days 

Theme days are scheduled throughout the zoo season. Theme days include: Reptile Slither, D.E.A.R at the Zoo, Fun on the Farm, and many more. Theme Days give visitors an opportunity to learn more about specific animals and resources in the local area. Visit the event calendar for updates on theme days scheduled.

Exhibit Signs

When visiting the Zoo be sure to read about all the Zoo animals.  Each exhibit has a sign posted giving information about each of our animals. Exhibit signs include information about an animals diet, natural history, lifespan, habitat, conservation status and some fun facts. 

School Field Trips

Bring your class to the Zoo! The Zoo offers a group rate for registered classes to come to the Zoo and spend the day with the animals. 

Zoo Crew

Interested in learning what it takes to work at the Zoo. The Zoo Crew Program allows teenagers ages 13 to 18 a chance to volunteer and learn about all the different jobs at the Children's Zoo. 

Daily Education Programs

Amphitheater shows, keeper talks and demonstrations and animal feedings are all offered daily to Zoo visitors. The visitor has the opportunity to talk with a Zoo keeper and learn more about animals in the Zoo collection. Some daily programs also offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the Zoo's animals. 


Penguin Silhouette Alligator SilhouetteButterfly Silhouette Donkey SilhouetteTortoise Silhouette Sheep Silhouette

Grammostola roseatarantulacrh legs


  • Theraphosidae


  • Females: 15 years
  • Males: 3 years


  • Length: 4 - 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 - 3 oz


  • Chile and the surrounding countries to the north


  • Mostly deserts and scrubland, ranging from coastal lowlands to more mountainous areas (inhabiting low shrubs).
  • Hubidity needs to be high (around 80% and up) and wet sphagnum moss, damp verniculite, or damp orchid bark will accomplish this.
  • 70 - 85°F


  • Carnivore
  • Wild: Small lizards, young snakes, amphibians, and small mammals such as rodents. Smaller forest dwelling or desert species prey on grasshoppers, beetles, or other spiders.
  • Zoo: 3 - 5 crickets per week. This animal will not overeat, and may be intimidated if offered too many insects at one time. 


  • Mating takes place at various times according to the species, usually in the fall from September to October. After mating, the female may eat the male.
  • The Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula deposits 500 - 1000 eggs once per year wrapped in silk and guard the sack for 6 - 7 weeks.

General Informationtarantulacrh fb

  • There are two basic types of spiders, web spinners and wandering spiders.  Tarantulas are wandering spiders, spending most of their time on the ground, in burrows, under rocks, inside tree hollows, and in other protected places.
  • Most wandering spiders have hairy legs and bodies.  The hair is very sensitive and helps them find their way along the ground locating prey.
  • They have to look for their food, so they require good eyesight.
  • Wandering spiders live on the ground, in burrows, under rocks, inside tree hollows, and in other protected places.
  • They have two claws on each foot and between them is a pad of hair. The claws give them a firm grip for walking on slippery surfaces.
  • Wandering spiders hunt in different ways.  Some stalk insects, some climb trees, and others dig burrows to hide from their prey.  There are also spiders that “fish” for prey, by diving underwater to kill fish, and one that catches prey by spitting on them.
  • Tarantula predators include animals such as coatimundis, raccoons, and skunks; one of their most deadly predators is the spider-hunting wasp which enters the spiders burrow, paralyzes it with its stinger, and drags it back to its nest.

Tarantulas & Humans

  • Spiders are the most important predators of insects; they help keep gardens healthy by protecting plants and controlling insect populations.
  • These are the most docile and easiest to handle group of spiders.
  • All tarantulas are venomous spiders, but do not carry enough venom to kill a person. However, some people may be allergic to their venom, and can be hospitilized. 


Fun Facts


  • Tarantulas have a resting heart rate of 30-40 beats per minute, however after 30 seconds of activity this may go up to 200 beats per minute.
  • No human is ever known to have died of a tarantula bite.
  • Tarantulas have two pairs of booklungs, while most spiders have only one pair.
  • The largest recorded spider in the world was a tarantula. It was a member of the species Pseudotherathosa apophysis, which had a leg span of almost 13 inches.



  • IUCN: Not Listed
  • CITES: Not Listed

tarantulacrh udrock


  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.
  2. IUCN Red List. Accessed December 2012.
  3. Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula: Grammostola gala – by Animal World. 
  4. Zoobooks: Spiders. Timothy Levi Biel

**All animal information is meant to be an educational resource. It may not include all the latest scientific information. Though we edit our information we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all facts presented.

History of the Celebration Square Carousel 

The Celebration Square CarouselIn the spring of 1996, Saginaw Valley Zoological Society (SVZS) President Julie Stevens and board members began researching ways to strengthen and improve Zoo programs. This resulted in the suggestion that a carousel at the Zoo would be a delightful addition to the community’s recreational facilities.

Inspired by the concept, City Councilman Earle DeGuise mentioned the idea to Jerry Willis, a retired contractor, who developed a plan to replicate some of the classic carousel figures of the early 1900s. Mr. Willis consulted with the Tri-City Wood Carvers, whose enthusiasm for the carousel was unanimous. The formal presentation was made in the fall of 1996.

With the help of Delta College, volunteers had a space to begin work on all of the components for the Celebration Square Carousel. Soon, the space was filled with volunteers who helped with a range of jobs including carving, sanding, and even the all important job of sweeping up the wood chips.

Each animal is created with a hollow body to allow for contraction and expansion of wood under a variety of environmental conditions. The necks and heads are also hollow.

The Celebration Square Carousel was finished and ready for riders on July 18, 1998. It took 18 months, over 40,000 volunteer hours, and cost $750,000.

Animals of the Celebration Square CarouselCarousel Horses

Boy Bunny                                               Christmas Horse - Miss Holly 
Girl Bunny  Cabbage Horse
Signature Horse (Lead)  Scottish Highland Pony
Native American Horse  Trappers' Horse
Children's Pony Zebra
Bavarian Armored Horse Fish Scale, Semi-Armored Horse 
Zebra  Viking-Armored Horse 
Midnight Blue Dapple  Sea Monster 
Cowboy Horse  Mexican Pony 
Flag Pony  Indian Pony 
Calvary Pony   


Along with the animals of the Celebration Square Carousel, there are also two chariot seats, ideal for those who wish to sit on a bench instead of the back of an animal. The first of the two chariots is designed after the Goodridge Brothers Photo Shop. The brothers photographed much of the region’s lumbering history. The second chariot, Dragons, takes you into a fantasy world of the sea including fire breathing dragons.

Goodrich Brothers Chariot Dragon Chariot

The Carousel also has carved rounding boards with local historical scenes and framed artwork.  

The historical scenes include:

                                   Postal Delivery at Messner Hotel

   Indian Camp on River                                    Lumber Camp in Winter 
   Potter Street Train Station  Lumber Camp in Summer 
   Postal Delivery at Messner Hotel  City Water Works 
   Early Saginaw Church Scene  Caledonia Coal Mine 
   Great Fire of 1893  Great Flood of 1904 
   Ships Loading Lumber on River  Water Pump on the Corner 


 The Upper Scenery Panels on the Celebration Square Carousel also have many additional historical scenes including: 

The Flying Merkel

   Crystal Ballroom: Bancroft Hotel                      Fire and Police 
   Migrant Workers at Harvest  The Fordney House 
   Bliss Park  WW II, B-24 Bomber 
   Fort Saginaw  Farm Scene 
   Chief Shop-en-a-gons  Flying Merkel Motor Cycle
   Tri City Wood Carvers  Making Ice on the River 




  The Lower Scenery Panels include:   

                                Fire at City Hall 1935

   Boating on the Bay, 1922                           Stardust, Boating on the Bay 
   Ice Fishing on Saginaw River  Fire at City Hall - 1935 
   Winter Farm Scene  Interior of School Room 
   Castle Post Office  Gathering Maple Syrup