Thursday, March 26, 2015

Komodo Dragon Destroys Memphis!
*If you like this, please follow and share and if you really really liked it, buy my book, Stupid Alabama*

I'm a zookeeper at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey. I have the great pleasure of being the butler to the greatest species of lizard the world has ever known, the Komodo dragon. My particular dragon is named Shu. He is 107 lbs of clumsy, curious wonderfulness. One large part of my job, being a zookeeper/dragon butler is to entertain the dragon. Shu needs constant mental stimulation. In the zookeeping world the process of keeping the animals mentally healthy is called enrichment. Sometimes I get a little carried away with Shu's enrichment. This is one of those times. 

Previously I worked at the Memphis Zoo where I was also a dragon butler (among other things). I spent the largest part of my life in Memphis. I have many friends still working at the zoo. I love the city, itself. There is no better place on earth for music or BBQ. And so I thought I should pay some sort of homage to the town, people, and zoo that I love so much. What better way to do that than to DESTROY IT GODZILLA STYLE!!!! 

So with this video I am calling out the Memphis Zoo! I am drawing the line and daring you to cross! I officially challenge you to an enrichment-off! I hope this to be the world's first zoo rivalry. Lets see if you can do better. I doubt it, and so does Shu. 

So I built Memphis (or at least a few of the more notable landmarks) to perfect scale. Once you see the video, you may believe it is the actual city. The models are really that good. The ENTIRE reptile team at the Turtle Back Zoo spent several... minutes building it. If you are not familiar with the city, the following iconic places were set up for Shu to destroy: The Memphis Zoo (home of two delicious looking giant pandas among other things), Graceland (home of Elvis), Sun Studios (home of Rock-N-Roll), and the world-famous P & H Cafe (the best little beer joint in town). 

As a slight side note, I'd like to thank Jessica Reid for her filming/editing/and general bad-assedness. She filmed and edited the entire video (as well as Shu destroying Seattle which will also be linked for your amusement). At the bottom is one more link connecting to an article I wrote for Reptiles magazine on how to entertain your dragon. I'd also like to thank my bosses for rarely checking on me. 


This is the destruction of Seattle. It was during the NFL playoffs. Shu is a big Packers fan. 

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