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Facility Update #10 (Working on the Zoo Again!)

By Snake Discovery on

0:00:00.0 Speaker 1: Welcome to Zoo Week here over at Snake Discovery, Monday through Sunday. We are going to be working on the enclosures here and putting backgrounds on everything, cutting it to size, sand-painting, figuring out lighting and everything in between. So Ed and I are going to be here for probably 12 hours a day every day to make this finally look like a mostly completed zoo by the end of this week.


0:00:29.0 Speaker 1: Back here, Ed is putting all of the pop and other beverages in the fridge, 'cause we have to keep our friends caffeinated throughout this week. Over here we have the only reptile who has moved in, Chloe our snapping turtle, she's gonna join us this week too. She is somewhere. She's probably under the cinder block. Oh no.

0:00:51.3 Ed: Wait. What?

0:00:52.9 S1: Chloe got out. I didn't think she was gonna climb... I know she can't climb over there, but I was weighing down her branch with this and oh oh, we've got a problem. She's gotta be around here somewhere though. I mean, I closed all the doors just in case this happens, so she'd probably follow the walls somewhere.

0:01:09.8 Ed: I don't see her back here anywhere, so I don't know if she went... Did she go there?

0:01:14.0 S1: Chloe? Where did you go? Are you behind...

0:01:16.5 S1: I mean she's a big snapping turtle. It's not like she's gonna be hard to find.

0:01:20.1 S1: Yeah, I'm not too worried 'cause this place is so open still, she's gotta be around here somewhere.

0:01:24.4 Speaker 3: I found her...

0:01:25.4 S1: Did you really?

0:01:26.0 Speaker 3: Yup.

0:01:26.9 S1: No way. You just got here. You're in the corner. Why did you do this? Hi, good morning. Come here, let's go back in your tub. Oh my gosh. No guys, this was not planted, she actually did escape and she went in the corner. What do you think? Are you proud of yourself? You got stuck in the corner? Let's go back in here.

0:01:50.2 Ed: Now she's all dusty. [laughter]

0:01:52.3 S1: Yeah. You get to go in there, go back in your tub. Gosh, really? Okay, well, now Zoo Week can begin, and I'm going to take this out.

0:02:00.8 S1: Anyway, the first thing we're going to work on today is putting the... Excuse you, geez. Is putting the Exo Terras into the island, so we have one here, and I think that's, just as a... To give us an idea of how it's gonna look, I think that's gonna be great, it gives enough space up here for all the lighting, but we also bought some, I mean this is 36 x 18 x 18, but they also make a 36 x 18 x 24, which would bring it to about there. And we figure in this top shelf, we have unlimited space for lights up there, so we are taking these lips and cutting them back a bit to make room for an extra six inches of height, so that way we can have even bigger enclosures up on the top row. So that's what we're gonna work on first.


0:02:47.2 S1: Check this out, this is gonna work so well. We've got these smaller, for more ground-dwelling reptiles down there, taller ones for more arboreal reptiles up there, and now we just get to do it for the rest of them. Alright, so this is the back side of those two enclosures. Any squeaking that's in the background is Ed; he's putting cameras up, so that's important, so he's excused. But, so this is the back. To give you an idea, we're going to put another set of Exo Terras facing out behind those on this side, so they're gonna be back-to-back. The only problem is that we then need to be able to bring electricity down to these lower enclosures. So I think what we're gonna do is we are going to cut a hole here, 'cause the other Exo Terra is gonna go out 18 inches, right, so that'll bring us right here. So that gives us that much space for a hole for all of the cords to go through. Maybe we'll do one on this side for one of the enclosures, one over here for the other one, and then both of them will have access to the power bank up there. Do we have a hole saw? Where did he go? We do have a hole saw! Okay so what... How big of a hole do we want for all those plugs?

0:03:50.7 Ed: As big as they can be, I guess?

0:03:53.0 S1: Yeah? Bigger the better, to make room. Size does matter in this case. Are you not getting enough attention?

0:04:02.4 S?: Sorry.


0:04:04.5 S1: Next, we're going to cut the backgrounds for these enclosures, and we're going to do a three-sided Universal Rocks background. And we have a pile of scraps here from our first order of Universal Rocks. And I think there's some big enough pieces that we'll be able to use some of these in those enclosures, so we're gonna go through all of this first. I think we're just gonna make a panel cutting station here, honestly, which means we have to clear all this out. But once we go through all of this and salvage what we can, then we're gonna start digging through the new order from Universal Rocks and cut more panels. You excited to cut panels today, Ed?

0:04:36.3 Ed: Oh, yeah.

0:04:37.2 S1: So excited?

0:04:37.9 Ed: Oh, yeah.

0:04:38.8 S1: Ed doesn't like cutting panels.


0:04:51.8 S1: So this is what's going to take over the majority of our day here, is taking the scraps, flipping them upside down. We are going to use this one; since it's big enough for it, we're actually going to make a three-sided background for one of the taller Exo Terras. So we're gonna need something that's 24 inches high and six feet long, and that's because it's three feet long in the back, but a foot and a half on either side. So we have it all measured up and now we're gonna cut it out.


0:05:20.9 S1: Okay, here's the panel that we just cut, we have it wrapped, we're gonna test... We're testing to see how well it fits, and it's a little bit too long, and that's because when you take into account the curvature of the panel in the corner, that is actually going to take up some of the space, so you don't need a full 6 feet wide, I'm now realizing. So it looks like we're gonna have to chop off maybe a foot and then it'll fit a lot better. So this is gonna vary based on each panel, 'cause each has kind of a different texture to it, so we're gonna have to custom fit each one of these into the Exo Terras. As all of the backgrounds are cut, we are kind of positioning them in the back three sides of each Exo Terra here. And then we're using weights to hold them down, and after that we're gonna take foam and spray it in the back, and when that foam kind of expands and then dries and tiers, it'll be rock-hard, and that will hold these backgrounds in place, so it's a lot of kind of just finagling to get them in the perfect position and then sealing it down with foam.


0:06:27.0 S1: So we are back again. It's Tuesday and Ed is bringing in panels from the cold, cold outdoors. And over here we've got Paul working on more paneling for the Exo Terras, and back, here we've got a lot of people who are coming in today, we have Ashley who's working on painting these doors black, so they kind of match the cave theme because pretty soon we're gonna be wrapping this in the cave paneling, which I'm very excited for. And over here we've got our Exo Terra assembly line of sorts. We're kind of working on foaming everything and getting it all positioned, and Dalen's working with that over here, and Andy's also helping us out. And yeah, it's just stuff's going on everywhere today.


0:07:20.7 S1: Now we're adding final signatures to the cave and we're gonna wrap it.


0:07:34.9 S1: So we are busy holding up the panels while Paul staples it in, and we're building a cave today. Luckily, we have our friend Andy, who has spent many a year working in a cave, advising us as to how to best angle all these panels so it looks as realistic as possible.

0:07:58.8 Ed: What are you doing to that poor monitor's foot?

0:08:01.5 Speaker 4: Drilling through it. I'm sorry, dude.

0:08:06.0 S1: Okay. How many people does it take to drill a hole through a monitor foot? There we go.


0:08:16.4 S1: There we go. We have a monitor climbing up the cave. That's why we had to drill into his foot.

0:08:21.4 Ed: Yeah. Now he's stuck there forever.

0:08:24.9 S1: Oh, yeah. Check it out, we have a cave, and a monitor climbing up the side of the cave. Now all we have to do is put the zoo entrance sign up there, and I think our cave is complete, almost, almost. There are a couple cracks in the cave panels, so we have funged those up, we're gonna wait overnight, and then sand-paint those in the morning, so it'll just disappear, but this is sweet. Oh, and we're also going to add another panel right there. Look at what just arrived guys. Look, look, look. These are Vision cages and they are sponsoring something we are going to call "Adoption Island" here at Snake Discovery. And this is something we haven't told anybody about yet 'cause we kind of wanted to keep it under wraps until we had these here, but we are going to have an entire island dedicated to taking in reptiles that people are no longer able to keep and finding new adoptive homes for them. So this is gonna be Adoption Island, we're putting it together right now. I can't wait.


0:09:22.7 S1: We have adoption Island. Look, look, look, look, look. So this is an island and made all of Vision cages like I was explaining earlier, but now they're all stacked and it looks so nice. So they're just kind of stacked on each other for now, but we're gonna add an official rack for them all to be nice and secure later on. But let me show you what we've got so far, so they're all... We wanted to do Vision for this because these are nice and easy to disinfect. I mean, being all plastic, it's easy to wipe them down, and even the water dishes that Vision makes are easy to clean. We haven't put the glass on everything yet, we just kind of did the one to show you what they're all gonna look like. They'll all have their individual locks, they all have... Actually, they even came with backgrounds. So we got these for them all too and there's a bunch of... There's desert and these fit in the back. There's tropical. Oh my gosh, this is gonna be so cool. So this is all gonna be for rescued reptiles, and we're very excited to be able to take in reptiles that people are no longer able to take care of themselves and we can find them forever homes through our facility here, and we have room for smaller reptiles up to even large constrictors could go down there, honestly.

0:10:35.0 S1: We also have cage liners that are actually made by Vision too, these are made for these cages and they're cut to size. And we've got those in case we need a certain like sterile environment for an animal. And yeah, the goal of this is to... You just find homes for animals. As Reptile Rapture in Madison puts it, since we're selling younger, or going to be selling younger reptiles to new homes, there's a chance that those might not be able to stay in those homes, so we want to be a part of the solution to the issue of reptiles needing new homes. And this is not just one-sided, this goes all the way around, that's why it's an island. We have the same setup over here, and actually they also sent us some caves that are made by Vision, and cave water dishes, which, I didn't even know they made these.

0:11:21.4 Ed: No, I didn't either.

0:11:22.3 S1: Those are pretty cool. So we kind of have a full setup here once we put all the glass on, and then once we add the lighting and other heating elements, we'll be ready to take in surrendered reptiles. So excited to be able to help with adoptions and stuff like that. We're putting Adoption Island over here, because over there we're gonna have our reptiles for sale, these will be reptiles for adoption that may or may not be special needs. Maybe there'll be a bearded dragon with a stubby tail or a leopard gecko missing a couple toes. You'd never know where reptiles are gonna come from when it's a rescue situation, but we're kind of separating them so that people come in knowing that these animals are for adoption and they need homes too.

0:12:02.4 S1: It is now Wednesday and we are starting the sand-painting process, as well as covering the front of all of the enclosures. So our plan is to... Ed, Paul and I are going to take the panels, cut them to size, wrap around the perimeter going this way first, and following behind us will be Lavonna and Angie, sand-painting to hide all of the seams. So we've got an assembly line going, of sorts.


0:12:40.6 S1: Well, this was originally bought as a turtle tank, but it has now become the coat rack.


0:12:54.6 S1: Okay, our friend Mandy is working on a very special project in here. What are you doing?

0:13:00.2 Mandy: Oh, you know, just finding studs.

0:13:03.0 S1: What do you need a stud for?

0:13:04.2 Mandy: A dinosaur head.

0:13:05.3 S1: A dinosaur head?

0:13:06.4 Mandy: Just imagine it, a dinosaur head right here, ready to eat your children as you change their diaper. It will be perfect.

0:13:14.0 S1: Okay, the dinosaur is up. Don't mind my gross, sand-painty hands. Ready for this? Dinosaur head! He's peering down at everyone changing their babies. This is amazing.

0:13:26.5 S1: So another dilemma we have recently come across... It's actually been on our minds for a while, but we found a nice solution for it, was how are we going to get power to the bottom enclosures when our outlets are way up there? Well, Joe from JSA Reptiles, who's also the person who helped build the framework to these, came up with a good idea that he suggested, put a pipe on the outside for all the tubes to run through. And that is genius, so we did it. And now we're just gonna take the rock paneling, cover it up, and I think even though for all the other vertical strips, we're doing a single piece from the top to the bottom, I think for these, we're gonna do two sections so that if we ever have to access this again, we'll be able to push through the panels and get to whatever we need to. But all the wires, these are just extension cords. We're having two run to each enclosure and then there's these at the end, so that we can plug all of our lights and heat elements into them. That'll work perfectly.


0:14:24.0 S1: Well, it's about 11 o'clock, and Ed and I, and Paul and Mandy are the only ones left here tonight. It's Wednesday night; we're all going to head home after this, but we figured we'd wrap up part one of our zoo decoration process. And I think we'll just probably break this down into two videos. So this is what we've accomplished so far.

0:14:44.9 S1: We have a cave! This is so cool! Like, we've just had a wooden box for the longest time.

0:14:51.1 Ed: Yeah, we'll have to dim the light in there and then show the light coming through. Like maybe right here. Look, you can see the plants, and look how pretty it is. It's really accent by that exit light right there.

0:15:03.8 S1: So this is the view of the cave when the zoo isn't lit up, but retail is.

0:15:08.4 Ed: Yeah.

0:15:08.7 S1: It's gonna look so cool.

0:15:09.9 Ed: Yeah, it is. And now that you're back, we can show that it looks really cool that way.

0:15:13.9 S1: It did. Didn't that look really cool?

0:15:15.3 Ed: Yeah.

0:15:15.6 S1: We learned how to bend vines.

0:15:18.6 Ed: Following crevices.

0:15:20.4 S1: I never knew how vines grew against rock until we had to research it to design this correctly, to make it look realistic. But yeah, we bent the vines to follow the creases of the rock as they would naturally grow. So this is done.

0:15:35.0 Ed: We wrapped the backside of the cave too.

0:15:36.1 S1: Doesn't this look great? .

0:15:36.2 Ed: It's pretty, it's the backside of a cave. We're going through the cave.

0:15:43.6 S1: Look at this, this is amazing. Okay, so after the cave was done, and that was... This was today's project, was continuing wrapping this rock panel across the front of the enclosures. We made it pretty far, I'd say.

0:15:58.3 Ed: Yeah, considering this is all one day's work.

0:16:00.8 S1: Yeah, it was... It's a lot of tedious work and...

0:16:03.2 Ed: Cutting and then stapling, and then eventually sand-painting and trimming and...

0:16:07.6 S1: Final trimming, and there's still a little bit of work to do on this. A lot of this is already sand-painted and a little bit of touch up that we still need to do, but look how far we got today. So where I was showing you that PVC pipe earlier, you can't even tell it's here.

0:16:22.5 Ed: Yep. So that was always something we were a little worried about, 'cause we weren't sure how we were gonna do that, so that's actually why the top over here isn't done yet because we have to do that tomorrow.

0:16:31.0 S1: There's been some challenges along the way, as we kind of expected knowing we needed to get power to the bottom rows of enclosures, but now that that's done. And look at this!

0:16:39.2 Ed: We have to patch up up there and there's a little bit of patching that needs to be done up there, but mostly done.

0:16:43.7 S1: It's amazing the difference, that paneling from Universal.

0:16:47.2 Ed: Just imagine these red vines as green vines and maybe that's what we'll end up doing.

0:16:51.7 S1: Yeah, yeah, that's true. The fronts are not done yet, we still have to just like the cave, decorate all of these spaces with plants and vines all the way down to really make them look like they're living.

0:17:03.2 Ed: We also today, I don't think Emily filmed any of it, but we had our glass guy come in. He measured everything. I'm gonna turn this off. He came in and measured everything, we have Rex's glass finally figured out. Don't worry about that, that's what that is.


0:17:18.9 S1: Okay, so I think tomorrow we're going to continue with the wrapping of the front, we're gonna hopefully go down here and finish that wall and then start moving into the islands next.

0:17:30.3 Ed: Yep. My job tomorrow is to make those outlets right there provide power to these enclosures.

0:17:37.2 S1: You're gonna run the cords down through these supports, right?

0:17:40.5 Ed: Yeah, there's a support actually like, you can see it right here. There's a support right in there that will allow just to drop an extension cord down there.

0:17:50.1 S1: We're gonna do two extension cords reaching to each one of these lower enclosures, one of them is going to be attached to a power strip to supply light or power to the LED lights for overall light, as well as the UVB and the basking light. And then there's going to be a second extension cord running down just for 24/7 heat and then in to the enclosure itself. So even at night, even when all the lights are out, that emitter will still be producing heat. And then back here, all those Exo Terras that we've been working on throughout the week, which it feels like it's been an entire week, but it's only been...

0:18:23.4 Ed: Look, we moved a pile of scrap.

0:18:25.6 S1: Yeah, those are there now. [chuckle] It's a mess.

0:18:28.7 Ed: Yeah, it's a huge mess.

0:18:31.1 S1: I did not realize that until just now.

0:18:33.0 Ed: Yeah.

0:18:33.7 S1: It is a mess back here, full of Exo Terras and Zoo Med enclosures.

0:18:37.2 Ed: But you have to make a mess to make... Production. No. "Progress" that's the word.

0:18:43.4 S1: All part of the process.

0:18:44.6 Ed: Yes.

0:18:45.4 S1: Yeah, so all the Exo Terra's, this is everything that's gonna go into the island enclosures. And they're all officially foamed, all with pretty...

0:18:51.8 Ed: We have some murals, we have a lot of three-sided that need to be cut and sand-painted.

0:18:57.0 S1: There's a lot in here.

0:18:58.7 Ed: Yeah. There's 10 of the tall 36 x 18 x 24, and then there's ten of those guys, which are the typical 40 gallon, and then there's eight of the Zoo Med 24 x 18 x 18.

0:19:12.0 S1: And the reason why we wanted to do Zoo Med for this size is because the Exo Terra version of the 18 x 18 x 24 has two doors in front, so you kinda have that seam down...

0:19:22.1 Ed: Sight line.

0:19:22.9 S1: Yeah, there's a sight line, I guess, right down the middle where as the Zoo Med version is just a solid piece of glass, so there isn't any obstruction when you're viewing the animals.

0:19:31.7 Ed: So it's a little prettier.

0:19:33.1 S1: Yeah, that's what I think. I mean I love them both.

0:19:35.5 Ed: I mean, we use all Exo Terra's at home, so...

0:19:37.3 S1: We do, yeah. But for this particular size for viewing reasons, we just like the Zoo Med version. I think that's it.

0:19:44.2 Ed: Yeah, I think that's everything.

0:19:46.0 S1: Other than messes everywhere from all of our work.

0:19:47.3 Ed: I mean we cleaned up back here. This was a huge mess and now we cleaned it up thanks to Nathan and Emily. Oooh look! It's not as big of a mess! The mess was like here, all the way over. Now it's that little pile. Look, it's a wild Mandy running off screen.

0:20:03.4 S1: There she goes!

0:20:04.3 Ed: There she goes.

0:20:05.2 S1: Oh, we're never gonna catch her now.

0:20:07.3 Ed: She's off and away.

0:20:08.1 S1: I heard her keys.

0:20:10.6 Ed: And the elusive Paul is still not here, I don't know where he ran off to.

0:20:14.4 S1: They always run away from the camera.

0:20:15.8 Ed: Yeah, they do.

0:20:16.5 S1: Anyway, that's where we're at right now. But again, it's only Wednesday night. We still have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday here, probably more 12-hour days. We're running on fumes right now, but I mean we couldn't have gotten to this point if it weren't for our friends and family members coming in to help us out every day this week. Specifically, we've had of course, as you all know, Paul with Maximum Reptile helping us out all week with all of his knowledge, and he's been mentoring us [0:20:39.3] ____.

0:20:39.6 Ed: He pretty much did this entire wall, by the way. Emily and Mandy cut, but Paul put it up and trimmed and did everything.

0:20:47.7 S1: Did a fantastic job. And yeah, Mandy, as Ed said, Mandy's been helping us out throughout the week too, as well as our friends, Lira and Lavonna and Angie and Nora, Tommy, Andy, Dalen, Nathan, Phil, Roxy, our friend Ashley. And I think that's everybody who has helped us thus far just this week, which is insane, we have so much support. So thank you everybody for helping out throughout the week, you know who you are if you're watching this. Thank you to Stuart and his wonderful team from Universal Rocks who's been helping us kind of get everything together that we need for this build. And of course, thank you to our amazing Patreon backers for your generous support, as well as everyone watching our videos, you help us out tremendously too. Thank you everybody, yet again, and yeah, this is just part one part one. Part two is gonna be Thursday through Sunday.

0:21:37.7 Ed: Yeah.

0:21:38.0 S1: We're gonna be so exhausted after this.

0:21:40.0 Ed: Yep. Caffeine only gets you so far.

0:21:42.2 S1: I know, caffeine goes goes a long way, and chocolate. Thanks for watching, and we'll see you next time. Mural. [music]

About Snake Discovery

"I have always had a passion for exotic pets. I was hardcore into parrots throughout college, and after I achieved my Bachelor's degree in Fisheries & Wildlife, I dove into the world of reptiles and pursued a career in exotic animal education.

I started by working as a Naturalist for the Department of Natural Resources, where my job was to create educational programs about wildlife, trees and plants, insects, geology, etc. Naturally, my favorite programs were the ones that incorporated wildlife, especially reptiles and amphibians.

After my temporary position with the DNR ended, I wanted to continue it on my own! So, I started up a small business for which I travel teaching people about reptiles. Now I go to schools, libraries, scouts, and more, to share my love of these often misunderstood animals.

My YouTube videos provide them (and you!) with care tips and fun facts to encourage further learning!"

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