This weekend we went on a whim to Wilmington, NC. Despite the GPS giving us super long directions, we had a great time. The highlight of the trip for me was definitely the Cape Fear Serpentarium. This place rocks. I'm going to post some pictures, but suffice it to say that even if you fear or dislike snakes, its terribly captivating. Some might find it a bit macabre because of the nature of the exotic snakes (and their venom!), but its truly awesome.
Unfortunately a lot of the pictures we took didn't quite come out due to the glass and dark lighting in the serpentarium. I've posted some of my favorite pictures that DID come out.
This one is huge! A giant anaconda that had to be at least 20+ feet in length. This picture really doesn't show scale well, but his midsection was larger than the thigh of most full grown men.
I can't remember the species of the above snake, but I believe it is a Diamondback rattler of some kind. Western, perhaps. Emily, help me out on this one?
Probably one of my favorite displays they had. They had 3 Gaboon Viper's in this display, although you can only see two in this photo. They're beautiful, but I would never want to get in a fray with one. It was especially interesting how thick around the middle they are for their length. Oh, and their 'horns' are really menacing.
This is a Western Green Mamba. The owner of the serpentarium was in West Africa somewhere, and he saw this specimen and thought at first it was just some harmless grass snake; as he went to pick it up with his bare hands, one of assistants yelled out "Look at his head, its shaped like a coffin!"...Had the director picked him up, he could've had his own coffin waiting - this is one of the deadliest snakes alive.
This one is also quite deadly - it is one of several species of Asiatic Spitting Cobras. Their venom can be projected quite a distance and prove deadly very quickly for most.
Arguably the deadliest snake in the world, the Taipan. Consider that it has enough venom to kill 100 adult humans, and that it is extremely aggressive. This little guy was hiding, but I don't mind too much.
That's one crazy looking snake! Ok, ok. Its a "Man-eating Crocodile". I'm not making that up, either. You can zoom in on this picture and see how close proximity they let you get - its pretty wild how icky his teeth look too.
Ok, I'm pretty bummed that my bushmaster pics didn't turn out too well. Just read this - click on it for a big version. Its crazy. That's all I can say.
I believe this is Green Tree Boa...but I'm not 100% sure. It might be an Emerald Tree Python. Again, Emily, feel free to correct me :). This guy was GORGEOUS.
Here's a veritable bevy of Eyelash Viper's. I believe there are 4-5 of them. The color is even more striking in person. They're pretty small compared to the other snakes they had, however.
Ok, those are the pictures for now. Snakes that we saw that aren't pictured are the likes of a 20 foot Retic. Python, several Blackheaded Busmasters, a Puff Adder, quite a few local rattlesnake types, a Siamese Cobra, Giant Lanceviper, Jumping Cobra, etc. It was amazing, and I really recommend it as a fun activity!