“I do it because I can, I can because I want to, I want to because you said I couldn’t.” ~Slytherin
Fair warning…if you aren’t a fan of snakes, this post might not be for you. I will however encourage giving it a chance though, as there are some really great educational opportunities that I’ll make sure and mention.
With that said, Reptile World Serpentarium in St. Cloud, FL, was an amazing place to find and visit. Opened in 1972, this facility houses a variety of snakes from all over the world. In addition to displaying snakes, both venomous and nonvenomous, this Serpentarium is a “venom factory” which regularly collects venom from resident snakes for the purposes of developing antivenin for medicinal and herpetological research. The awesome thing about this particular Serpentarium is that visitors have a chance to view 2 venom “milkings” a day.
When you enter the unassuming building, you’ll enter through the gift shop. To the right is the housing facility for the snakes on display, like the above Green Tree Python and Black Mamba.
The following slideshow shows some more snakes that are housed in the exhibit hall. Please check the website for snake names and updates to the animals on display.
In addition to snakes housed in the main building, there are other reptiles and birds housed in various enclosures throughout the facility.
At 12pm and 2pm the “milking” demonstrations started. Several local snakes had their venom extracted for an audience. Preceding this was a thorough discussion about local snake species, antivenin, and general snake husbandry. The following pictures shows the “milking” process. For more detailed information about this, please visit the linked website below.
While not afraid of snakes, I’ve always had a healthy respect for them. And if you’re wanting to visit someplace other than a theme park, I’d definitely recommend Reptile World Serpentarium. Fair warning, it gets humid and hot in summer with a healthy selection of biting insects. But that’s Florida, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm
Website (Check website for admission fees)