The Splash Education Center is home to a collection of live animals that are found in the vernal pool grassland or other local habitats. These animals live in a room in the Splash Center that we call “Critterville.”
Sacramento Splash never takes healthy animals out of the wild. We only keep critters that would be unable to survive on their own, either because they were injured or because they were captive prior to coming to Splash. Check out the links below to read about the amazing animals that call Critterville home.
Tweedle Dee III has been a Splash critter for most of his life. He joined the Critterville team as a tadpole three years ago and is now our resident Bull Frog. Tweedle Dee III will occasionally make the male bull frog call sound when he hears a loud noise or vibration, like the vacuum cleaner. He has a ravenous appetite and when he sees anything move, he instinctively tries to eat it.
The Splash Center has eight resident Pacific Chorus Frogs that were donated after being kept as pets for many years. The Pacific Chorus Frog is the only green or brown frog in our area with a dark “mask” across its eyes and “suction cups” on its toes. Often called the Pacific Treefrog, it uses these toe pads to help climb plants, trees, even walls and windows!
Mr. Toad was dropped off at an area pet shop after having been in captivity for many years. When wild animals are kept in captivity for so long, they often lose their ability to survive in the wild, so Mr. Toad found a permanent home at Splash. Mr. Toad is at least 6 years old and Western Toads in captivity have been known to live as long as 36 years!
Tigger is about 8 years old and she was found near Monterey, California by the UC Davis research study team. Her favorite food is crickets, but she also enjoys earthworms. Tigger became part of a study done at UC Davis involving the California Tiger Salamander and another type of Tiger Salamander from Texas.
The six Spadefoots at Splash were captured when they were just tadpoles. They were very slow to metamorphose, or change, into adults. By the time they were young adults, their vernal pool was too dry for them to be released because they would not be able to dig down and bury themselves to survive the dry phase.
Mr. Wizard was found on the tile floor of one of the restrooms at Splash. He was unable to move about on the slick floor and had become very weak and dehydrated. He responded very well to treatment and it was decided to let him permanently reside at Splash.
Sir Hiss-a-Lot was hatched sometime around 1993. When Sir Hiss was a baby snake, he was captured by a boy who didn’t know that you should never keep a wild animal as a pet. Nonetheless, the boy took excellent care of him for about 10 years. When the young man went off to college, his mom didn’t want to take care of Sir Hiss by herself.
LeRoy was just a baby when he was injured at a construction site by a large piece of heavy equipment called a backhoe. The construction workers took the time to rescue LeRoy and rushed him to a wildlife rehabilitator, who then took him to a veterinarian to determine the extent of his injuries. X-rays showed that LeRoy had a fractured spine, or in other words, a broken back.
Yertle and her siblings were just hatching, when a homeowner digging a small backyard pond with a tractor, scooped up their entire nest. All the neighborhood children took one of the baby turtles home. Before coming to Splash, Yertle spent time as a family pet and one year in a science classroom. Yertle was thought to be a male until “he” laid four unfertilized eggs last spring. That was quite a surprise!
Thumper was found near the river when he was about 4 weeks old. He was very tiny and could fit in the palm of your hand. He had been mauled by a dog or coyote and had multiple wounds on his back. Interestingly, it was obvious that he experienced some human contact because his wounds had been treated with an old-fashioned disinfectant called “gentian violet”, which leaves a very obvious purple stain.
Toothless is our living example of what larval Tiger Salamanders would look like. They are actually not Tiger Salamanders at all, but a very similar species of salamander called the Axolotl. This type of salamander is originally from Mexico and is close to extinction in the wild.
Support from the community makes it possible to continue serving the 80+ classes of 4th/5th graders who want to come to Splash. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Splash is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Tax ID #41-2160618.
Please click on the link below for a map and directions to the Splash Center. NOTE: Mather Business Park is currently under construction. Use the Zinfandel or Sunrise exit off 50, rather than Mather Field Road.
Be advised: Splash does not maintain regular business hours. If you’d like to visit, please join us for an upcoming event.