Had a chance to visit the reptile zoo in Monroe today and boy was it fun. But no matter how much fun it was, I have to again insist that everyone kindly not feed (me to) the animals.
The people there were very nice and accommodating. They answered our questions and let us pet, slap and interact with the critters as much as we safely could. I’ve seen reptiles at the regular zoo before and never are they as lively as the ones we saw here. All slithery and wiggling.
We got to see the ten mostest deadliest snakes in the world plus even an albino gator* (Al, I think was his name.) Also, we witnessed the awesome fury of the gift shop. They keep the place at 82 degrees so it’s perfect for lizards to hang out and humans to sweat. Ah, good times.
Here are some of the top highlights:
Super King Cobra – Not a real snake, they keep telling me, but look how big he is. Obviously a favorite like the anaconda from the movie, except without all the laughs. Also, he doesn’t bite, and I like that in a snake.
Spiky Tortii – They called them African Desert Tortoises, but I’m the expert here. They were munching a salad when I paid them a visit so they didn’t really come out of their shells. Still I know they wanted a quick Brendan nibble from my salty kiddo-fingers. Most uncool. (Click here to see these guys full-size.)
Leopard Tortoises – When I put a shell-patting down on their backs, they gave me a funny look. If it wasn’t for their Turtle Chow I know they would have given me a chomp. I mean, it was my choice to put my head in chomping distance, but I hadn’t really thought it through.
Inaniguanas – A simple DNA test would tell you these are real reptiles. But far from hungry, these guys were truly stuffed. Good thing too because I kept poking a finger in their dry lizard mouths. I can’t explain it and I won’t try.
Mister Rock Stander – I don’t know much about this guy, or his real name, but we got in a kitty-style stare down contest and he was unbeatable. I’m sure if I could have climbed in there I’d have been fangoriously devoured. Them’s little crittery-do’s, but I suspect they pack a punch. Pretty colors and pretty cool too. (Click here to see him full-size.)
Constructor de la Boa’s – This big, bad mama (not to be confused with the big Black Mamba, also very cool,) constructs high fashion boa’s for high fashion people. Why anyone would want a baggy, twenty-foot boa of dry, molted snakeskin is beyond me, but it takes all kinds and this girl is on the job. They tell me she could eat me whole, and that’s just not nice. Makes her a highlight but not a favorite.
Undercarriage Howdy-adieu – The Alligator Snapping Turtle had a swimming pool for a living room. Even more impressive was the glass floor. I wasted no time in crawling right under it to get a better look at his pad. Turns out you’re not supposed to climb under exhibits, but maybe that’s why it was such a highlight.
My new friends are cold-hearted snakes, but I accept them just as God made them. We had a good time and I like them, but please don’t tap the glass and please don’t feed (me too) the animals. I know I’d be a tasty snack but I still prefer myself whole.
You can find the Retile Zoo one mile east of downtown Monroe on Highway 2 at 22715 SR-2. Hours of operation are weekdays 10:00 to 5:00, weekends 10:00 to 6:00. Oh, and tell them Brendan sent you, that ought to confuse the pants off ‘em.
*Albino alligators are so rare that there’s only six places in the world that have them on display. That’s more rare than Mr. Panda and I got to see one!