Meet a Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula, Hissing Cockroaches, and a Vinegaroon

by Ken Ham on February 24, 2019
Featured in Ken Ham Blog

Kids and adults alike love meeting the many animals that call Ararat Ridge Zoo at the Ark Encounter and Eden Zoo at the Creation Museum their home. Ararat Ridge Zoo features zebras, Tibetan yaks, emus, ostriches, llamas, an African crested porcupine, and much more. Eden Zoo is home to camels, a zorse and zonkey, goats, a wallaby, coatis, and more—including some new “creepy crawlies.”

Our Eden Zoo at the museum has just added some new creatures into our ever-growing collection. When you visit, you may just be able to meet some of them during our daily animal encounters.

Some of the new additions include:

  • vinegaroon

    A giant vinegaroon. She is a nocturnal, carnivorous member of the arachnid family, but does not bite or sting. Instead, she defends herself by spraying a potent acetic acid solution that smells like vinegar up to a foot away in any direction! Our zookeepers have named her Cuddles (they certainly do have a sense of humor!).

  • cockroach

    Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Yes, they do hiss! Males actually make three types of hisses for aggression, disturbance, and communication.

  • spider

    A burgundy Goliath bird-eating tarantula (that’s a mouthful!). This spider is one of the largest in the world. Our spider, whose name is Fluffy (I told you the zookeepers have a sense of humor!) and now calls Eden Zoo home, will grow over a foot in length and may live to be twenty.

  • frog

    And last but not least, our new addition to the Ararat Ridge Zoo: A Pac-man frog. Jeremiah, also known as an ornate horned frog, is currently in hibernation due to cooler temperatures, but eventually he will be meeting guests during our animal encounters. Frogs like him are found in the tropical rain forests of South America and can live over 16 years. Their diet mainly consists of insects, small mice, and sometimes fish. They get their name because they hide lying half buried in leaf litter on the forest floor while waiting for prey to pass by. They then grab and swallow their prey in 1 or 2 gulps. They do not have true teeth but bony outgrowths of the jawbone called “vomerine teeth,” and they can deliver a painful bite (but, don’t worry, he won’t be biting any of our guests!).

A great way for your children to get to meet some of these cool creatures God made, as they are also taught to think with a biblical worldview, is at our Explore Zoology full-day workshop program on April 19, 2019. Students grades 4 through high school will study zoology, animal kinds, and taxonomy (the science of animal classification) through close-up animal encounters, animal enrichment creation, and a private zoo tour. Spots fill up very quickly for these full-day events and the cost is only $15. Learn more and register your child at

You can also meet many of them when you visit the Eden Zoo or through an animal encounter (both are included with your general admission) during a visit to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter.

A Sad Goodbye

We are sad to announce that Skippy, our Bennet’s wallaby that many guests have enjoyed meeting at the Creation Museum, died recently. Leanne, the manager of the Eden Zoo, shared her thoughts on Skippy’s passing:

We live in a fallen world, and, because of sin, animals do not live forever. Unfortunately, this past week, the Eden Zoo lost their beloved Bennett’s wallaby, Skippy. Skippy was a favorite among zookeepers and staff for ten years (normal wallaby lifespan) here at the Creation Museum. As a joey, he was rejected by his mother and was not expected to survive. However, the zookeepers stepped in to hand-raise him and to provide around-the-clock care for months. He survived to become one of the most friendly and beloved animals in the zoo. Skippy will be greatly missed.
  • roos
  • roos
  • roos

While you will no longer be able to see Skippy, you can meet Boomer, our hand-raised Bennett’s wallaby who joined the zoo collection this past year. He’s adorable and Leanne said he’s doing well after losing his buddy and enjoying the extra attention and toys from his keepers. Guests love interacting with him and I’m sure you will too.

I encourage you to plan your visit to the Creation Museum near Cincinnati at, and the Ark Encounter, 45 minutes away, each with its own zoo.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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