Unique Reptiles at Orlando Science Center

You can meet these magically unique reptiles at Orlando Science Center! 

The fantastic beasts: prehensile-tailed skinks. Where to find them: NatureWorks

Say hello to our new and unique reptiles at Orlando Science Center — Gryffin, Puff, Raven, and Sly, four prehensile-tailed skinks who have found a new forever home.  

a skink on a stick with a gryffindor flag in the background
a momma skink on a stick with a ravenclaw flag in the background
a baby skink on a stick with a hufflepuff flag in the background
a skink on a stick with a slytherin flag in the background

They don’t have their own broomsticks yet, so they flew to us via airplane all the way from California. They were confiscated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in a wildlife trafficking incident. Their bewitching good looks make this species a popular target for the pet trade. Gryffin, Raven, and Sly were collected in the Solomon Islands (located north of Australia) and illegally brought into the United States before being found by wildlife authorities.  

Following their rescue, Raven gave birth to Puff!

These reptiles lay their eggs inside their body and the young hatch within the parent’s body. A group of skinks is called a circulus and all of the adults in the circulus help to raise the baby. Puff seems to prefer spending most of their time with Sly, the other adult female. We are especially excited to watch Puff grow into an adult skink! 

When the skinks were first rescued, they were underweight and fighting off a parasite infection. They have been under the care of our animal experts, and we are happy to report that our veterinarian now deems them to be in excellent health! We are honored to provide a forever home and quality care to these big lizards with a big story!  

two unique reptile skinks cuddling

Dr. Phillips Charities Presents 2020 Leadership Award to OSC

The Board of Directors of Dr. Phillips Charities has awarded the 2020 Dr. Phillips Leadership Award to Orlando Science Center.

In the innovative and philanthropic tradition of their founders, Dr. P. Phillips, his wife Della and their son Howard, the Dr. Phillips Leadership Award, which includes a donation of $250,000, honors nonprofit organizations that demonstrate community leadership, financial stewardship, and sustainable and impactful programs that change lives.

“We are proud to bestow the 2020 Dr. Phillips Leadership Award on JoAnn Newman and the Board of Directors of the Orlando Science Center,” said Kenneth Robinson, President of Dr. Phillips Charities. “They and their team have developed engaging, sustainable science programs and opportunities that help build essential skills and inspire current and future generations to pursue important STEM careers.”

The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to their motto “to help others help themselves” by donating millions of dollars to more than 100 local charities.

Beyond its community impact, the award acknowledges Orlando Science Center and its leadership for their dedication to quality educational experiences by consistently premiering new exhibit areas, expanding resources and STEM learning opportunities, and fostering an environment that simulates creativity and innovation. Recipients receive the award and a $250,000 donation to their organization.

“From our first gift in 1958 to the Dr. Phillips CineDome and our recent support of the Orange Grove in KidsTown, Dr. Phillips Charities has been a longtime partner with Orlando Science Center,” said James Ferber, Chair of the Board for Dr. Phillips Charities. “Having given more than $4 Million in support of their mission and programs, we have seen their commitment to igniting innovation, and to enhancing lives in our community.”

Since 1955, Orlando Science Center has brought together diverse audiences of all ages to discover and explore science learning through immersive experiences. We are dedicated to sharing opportunities that show the relevance of science to people’s lives and create a better understanding of the world around them.

“For 65 years, Orlando Science Center has helped build important skills for the leaders and problem solvers of tomorrow. Science is the key to addressing some of our country’s greatest challenges, whether it’s returning Americans to space or combatting a global pandemic,” Newman said. “Partners like Dr. Phillips Charities are essential to help us as we advance our mission and inspire future generations. Together, we can change the world."