The summers of 2009, 2010, and 2011, I spent most of my time at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland in Allenwood, PA. Reptiland is an AZA accredited zoo that specializes in reptiles and amphibians, as well as other "creepy-crawlies" like bats, tarantulas, and scorpions. Reptiland was an opportunity for me to explore the world of these misunderstood animals. I also found that there was so much going on behind the scenes of a zoo that I had never thought about before, and so much required to keep up with the AZA standards. I gained an entirely new respect for the field, not to mention I was able to experience some pretty cool things as I worked my way into an internship with the zookeepers. Who else can say they stood in a pit with an American alligator, with nothing between you but a 6-foot pole? (Note: The gator in the photo is MUCH smaller than that one...). And who else can say they have maneuvered a frog's tongue back in its mouth with a spatula? All while wearing a nifty uniform! I learned to truly appreciate all of the wildlife we have, especially as more and more of it is quickly disappearing, (insert shameless plug for Amphibian Ark,, and it has shaped the way I plan to go about my intended career as a wildlife veterinarian.