Flower is a tiger salamander and, despite his name, is male. Flower came to Hickory Knolls several years ago when his human family was embarking on a long vacation and couldn’t find a salamander-sitter. He’s lived front and center on the Hickory Knolls service desk ever since. Tiger salamanders are pretty common residents of neighborhoods that are near ponds or wetlands, yet these animals are rarely seen due to their secretive nature. They spend their days in underground burrows, emerging at night to hunt. Flower just loves to dig and play in his substrate. Their diet includes earthworms, insects and sometimes even frogs and other salamanders. Tiger salamanders are also notable for their long lifespans, which range from 10-16 years in the wild and more than 20 years in captivity.
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Nestled at the edge of 130 acres of oak woodlands, wetlands and prairies, the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center offers a unique blend of rustic nature and contemporary comforts. The LEED-certified building features beautiful views and an open floor plan with rental and programming space. Live animal displays, including state-endangered Blanding’s turtles, offer vistiors up close interaction with reptiles native to Illinois. Nature programs for all ages, birthday parties and special events provide guests with many educational and social opportunities to connect to our local environment. Visit this premiere environmental discovery center in the Fox Valley today!