Address: 18822 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 [ Map It ]
Prehistoric Pets is a unique pet store in that they carry an unusual inventory of pets not readily found elsewhere as well as food and supplies for those pets. But you don’t need to be looking to buy some of these exotic pets to visit their store because they have a small zoo of sorts. For a $5.00 fee, you can walk through their miniature zoo and see some very unique critters.
Here you’ll find several American Alligators (and not the small ones either), rattlesnakes, pythons, boa constrictors (both small and really huge), turtles, tortoises, iguanas, geckos, chameleons, and monitor lizards to name just a few.
When you walk in the door, on the right you’ll find a large fountain containing many fish and turtles. On your left are the Galapagos tortoises. You pay the zoo fee at the front counter, and the zoo begins behind the small bamboo gate on your left. Go straight ahead to find the main zoo area or immediately to your right and follow the enclosures down and then around the corner (I almost passed this section by as most proceed right into the main area).
I spent about an hour walking around and just watching the various animals. It doesn’t look very big when you first walk in, but it’s laid out much like a maze — find a dead end, go back and find another section. Be sure to look around every corner or you’ll likely miss an entire section. Don’t be afraid to ask a staff member to point out where the different sections are or even go back to the counter and ask for a quick tour of the sections so that you’ll know exactly where they are. The staff is friendly and always happy to help.
Hint: Nothing is behind a closed door and all sections are accessible, some look like dead ends but really aren’t. So always be sure to look around each corner before turning around.
Capturing the Shot: Since these animals are behind glass, a polarizing filter for your lens is helpful in order to shoot through the reflections in the glass.
Photography is allowed and you can capture some unique photos here. I didn’t ask if flash photography was allowed since I wasn’t planning on using one. The place is well lit and I figured that, since many of these animals are venomous or can outright eat you, and only an 1/8th inch piece of glass separated them from me, it’s probably best not to anger them.