Exciting Day at Reptile World Serpentarium and Airboat Ride with The Carpetbagger and my724outdoors.com!
Reptile World Serpentarium’s unassuming cinder block and stucco building, which opened in 1972, houses an impressive collection (over 80 species) of snakes from around the world, ranging from the familiar and innocuous to the exotic and deadly. Often listed among the top ten deadliest snakes in the world you will find a splendid 13+ foot King Cobra, a beautiful Black Mamba and all four of Florida’s venomous snakes on display. All told, there are six species of cobra and 11 kinds of rattlesnakes. There are also snakes you may never see elsewhere, like the brilliant pea green East African Green Mamba and its less startling but nonetheless beautiful West African cousin. The snakes are housed in modest glass-fronted enclosures along a darkened corridor. Snakes are the main course, but there are also several species of lizards, a Nile Crocodile, a 14-foot male gator (Pete, and yes, he does know his name) lounging in a shallow, sometimes murky pool with his mate (and sometimes their babies), a passel of iguanas and a pond full of turtles as well as some tortoises.
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If all Reptile World Serpentarium had to offer were its snake displays, it might be recommended only to the certified snake fancier, but this is a working venom factory. Though there may be only 50 snakes on public display at any given time, behind the scenes are hundreds of venomous snakes just waiting to be “milked” for their valuable venom. Reptile World Serpentarium ships this precious commodity worldwide for use in medical and herpetological research. The regular “milking” of these dangerous snakes is done in public and makes Reptile World Serpentarium more than just another snake house.
Venom shows are scheduled at noon (12:00 p.m.) and 3:00 p.m. daily. Sometimes the shows start a bit late, but any wait will quickly be forgotten once the show starts. After an informative verbal presentation about snakes and their venom, owner George Van Horn moves behind a glass wall to take care of business. About half a dozen snakes are plucked from their boxes and coaxed into sinking their fangs through a clear membrane stretched over a collection glass. The glasses range in size from small test tubes used for coral snakes to hefty pilsner glasses used for large rattlers and cobras. The view can’t be beat, you are just a few feet away from these fanged wonders and will be thankful for the glass window between you and the snakes.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Adult admission (age 18 and up) is $11.75, students (age 6-17) are $9.75 and children (age 3-5) are $8.75. Same day readmission is included.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are accepted.