A scaly new face is wowing guests and warming hearts at African Safari Wildlife Park. Reggie the seven-year-old green iguana has joined the ranks of the Park’s ambassador animals, who live behind the scenes and make public appearances in educational animal programs.
Prior to his move to the Park, Reggie was housed at the Winking Lizard Tavern in Peninsula, Ohio, for five years. The Cleveland-area restaurant chain, known for featuring live green iguanas at each of its locations since the 1980s, is “rehoming” its iconic lizards to animal-care facilities.
“Reggie is a total sweetheart, and he really seems to enjoy the company of people,” said Park director Kelsey Keller. “We are grateful to the Winking Lizard team for entrusting him to our park, where he will help our guests learn about animals and how to protect our environment.”
Animal care staff plan to bring Reggie out for guests to appreciate at least once per day. However, the animals featured in each educational animal presentation are rotated, so there is no guarantee Reggie will make an appearance at any given program.
Green iguanas are native to Central and South America. While they are not considered endangered, some green iguana populations are threatened by habitat loss or human hunting. They have been introduced to Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, where they compete with native species for resources like food and habitat.
African Safari Wildlife Park has been delighting families for over 50 years. The free-range Drive-Thru Safari features giraffe, bison, alpacas and deer. The Walk-Thru Safari, open seasonally, features kangaroos, porcupines, birds and educational animal programs.
More information is available at www.africansafariwildlifepark.com.