Reptile Gardens is officially open for the 2021 Season

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Wild Animal park welcomed visitors for the first time since November on Saturday and it was a beautiful day to do so. Locals and visitors alike, pressed their faces against the glass to see the alligators, crocodiles, snakes and tortoises up close and personal.

Officials say the first day was a busy one, an optimistic forecast for what this season may bring.

“Opening day has been awesome and once we saw that the weather was going to be in the 60s, we knew it was going to be a busy day. Everyone’s been kind of cooped up this whole winter inside and the weather couldn’t have been better, everything is running smoothly. It’s been a very busy day and we just couldn’t be happier,” said Horticulture Curator for Reptile Gardens David Yahne.

While on the premises, patrons can also see the renovated sky-dome and the safari room. Reptile Gardens is encouraging the public to utilize the space provided to social distance as best as they can.

“Masks are encouraged, though they are not required, being as that we are in outdoor space and one can kind of distance themselves as they’d like to. We have put up a few signs around just to remind people you know on staircases and through hallways on which way to go. So we’re doing our part just to, you know, ensure that we’re doing everything that we can,” said Yahne.

Although the snake shows won’t start until the summer, there’s still plenty to see.

A one-time paid admission gives visitors an all-season access pass.

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