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 II 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 II will occasionally make
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 five 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 five 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
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.
Kaa came to Splash after many years in captivity. His owner tired
of caring for him and tried to sell him to an area pet shop. The
shop owner explained that it is not legal in California to sell a
native species, and offered to place Kaa with a responsible
Yertle and his 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.
Grinch and Thing are our living examples 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.
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