Tuatara takes a road trip to Alex
A tuatara from Invercargill has taken his first road trip to Alexandra to visit the Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery. Gunther, a 23-year-old tuatara who lives at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, made the trip with museum tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley, of Invercargill, to give people in the area the chance to have an upclose encounter with the reptile. Mr Hazley said it had been the first time Gunther had left Invercargill but he was used to being around people and being touched. About 120 people attended the open day to see the tuatara as well as two Otago skinks and a jewelled gecko. However, Gunther had to be kept well away from the skinks and gecko because he would ‘‘eat anything that moves’’, Mr Lindsay said. The open day was a test run before a permanent skink enclosure is housed at the museum from the end of the month. Central Stories project manager Rachel Checketts said an enclosure was being built to house two skinks at the museum. A raffle was also being held to name the skinks. So far, suggestions included Tiny, Fluffy, Scamp and Buckbeak but anyone could drop into the museum with suggestions before the end of the month. The museum received a donation from the Central Otago Ecological Trust to help build the enclosure but more sponsorship was needed to help with the cost and upkeep of the skinks, she said.