There is something appealing about reptiles. For some, it's the fact that they can have a pet without worrying about allergies as you would with a dog or cat. And for many kids, there's just something appealing about lizards and frogs, but also chameleons and geckos. You can also teach the kids to have a healthy respect for snakes, while they learn something about those snakes. And finally, it's more practical than having a shark.

But similar to Shark Week on TV, Binder Park Zoo has added a little pizazz to the events this weekend at the Zoo, first by branding it "Reptile Weekend, Scaled Back". One of the stars of the weekend will be guest speaker Matt Kleitch, a Natural Resources Specialist of the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center. Kleitch is going to talk about “The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake” on Saturday at 11:30 and 1:00 in the Binda Conservation Discovery Center.

Also, on both Saturday and Sunday, Binder Park Zoo keepers will share stories about reptiles and amphibians. But one special "celebrity" is “Al”, an Aldabra giant tortoise. While no one knows Al's exact age, experts say he's probably about ninety, which in tortoise years makes him middle-aged, as these tortoises can live to be 150.

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Binder Park Zoo says Reptile Weekend, Scaled Back is a part of the regular admission price. Hours are 9a-6p on Saturday and 11a-6p on Sunday. The Zoo is off Exit 100 on I-94 in Battle Creek.

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